The Wiz

by unknown
New York Post

The Wiz seemed to me an enchanting show. The new black musical version of, The Wizard of Oz is picturesque, vivid, exotic and charming, and it moves with dynamic speed and humor. The attractive setting by Tom H. John, the staging and colorful costumes by Geoffrey Holder, and the choreography by George Faison are enormously helpful, and William F. Brown has devised a satisfactory book with a few pleasant modern touches. Charlie Smalls' score is modestly agreeable, and I didn't mind its use of what I suppose is rock. I believe it is a legitimate complaint, that the evening was somewhat too insistently loud, but that is the only objection I have to a delightful entertainment.

"No one who saw the Judy Garland Wizard of Oz will forget the performances of the great Bert Lahr as the Cowardly Lion, Jack Haley, as the man of tin and Ray Bolger as the scarecrow, but this isn't to ignore the excellence of Ted Ross, Tiger [Haynes] and Hinton Battle in the same roles. I particularly liked Ross' gentle lion. Margaret Hamilton gave a classic portrayal of the Wicked Witch of the West, but Mabel King has her own fine interpretation of the fearsome dame, now called simply Evilene. The Wiz himself is well-played and powerfully sung by Andre de Shields. Stephanie Mills is an engaging if slightly mature Dorothy, and I loved those Munchkins, poppies, crows and the little dog that ran across the stage.

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