Musical (1975)

Musique: Charlie Smalls
Paroles: Charlie Smalls
Livret: L. Frank Baum • William Brown
Production à la création:

Dorothy is blown by a tornado into munchkinland where she meets the Scarecrow, the Tin-man, and the Cowardly Lion. They all go off to see the Wizard of Oz, who turns out to be a phony, but she starts believing and they all live happily ever after.

Dorothy is seen with her Aunt Em, Uncle Henry, and dog, Toto, on their farm in Kansas. She expresses her desire to get away from the farm life and see distant lands. Aunt Em and Uncle Henry urge her to stay, telling her that she has everything that she could ever want here at home ("The Feeling We Once Had").

Act I
A tornado hits and lifts the farmhouse, with Dorothy and Toto inside, right up into the air. ("Tornado"). It comes to rest with a bump, in the middle of an emerald green field covered with flowers. There she is met by the Munchkins who are all dressed in blue and Addaperle, the Good Witch of the North, who tells her that her house has fallen on the Wicked Witch of the East, and killed her, freeing the Munchkins from her evil powers. Dorothy, distressed and confused, wants only to return to Aunt Em, Uncle Henry, and Toto in Kansas, and Addaperle decides her best bet is to go and see the great and powerful Wizard of Oz ("He's the Wizard"). She gives her the Witch of the East's silver shoes, and tells her not to take them off before she reaches home, for they hold a very powerful charm.
Dorothy sets off down the yellow brick road, full of doubt and fear at what lies ahead ("Soon As I Get Home"). Stopping to rest by a cornfield, she is startled when a Scarecrow hanging on a pole strikes up a conversation with her ("I Was Born the Day Before Yesterday"). He tells her of his longing for brains so that he can be like other people, and she invites him to accompany her to see if Oz can help him ("Ease On Down the Road #1").
The yellow brick road leads them into a great forest where they discover a man made of tin, rusted solid. They oil his joints ("Slide Some Oil To Me") and he tells them how, to prevent him from marrying a servant girl, the Wicked Witch of the East put a spell on his axe so that it began to cut off parts of his body. Each time it happened, a tinsmith replaced the missing part with one made of tin until he was entirely made of it. The one thing the tinsmith forgot was a heart, and the Tin Man has longed for one ever since. Dorothy and the Scarecrow invite him on their journey to see the Wizard with the hope that he may give him one ("Ease On Down the Road #2").
The yellow brick road leads them into a dark jungle where they are attacked by a large lion ("I'm a Mean Ole Lion"), but are unharmed because he is a coward. When he learns where they are going, he asks if he may accompany them to ask the Wizard for some courage. They agree and the trio becomes a quartet ("Ease On Down the Road #3"), but face a new danger when they are attacked by half-tiger, half-bear creatures called Kalidahs ("Kalidah Battle"). After a great fight and harrowing escape, they stop by the road to rest. The Lion is embarrassed by his cowardice in the battle, but is comforted by Dorothy's kind words ("Be a Lion").
Seeing a green glow in the distance, they continue their journey to the Emerald City, and wander into a field of poppies who blow opium dust on them. Not being made of flesh, the Scarecrow and Tin Man are unaffected, but Dorothy and the Lion begin to become disoriented and drowsy. Dorothy recalls that the Munchkins warned her of the dangerous poppies, and runs from the field as fast as she can with the Scarecrow and Tin Man behind her. The Lion is overcome by the dust and begins to hallucinate ("Lion's Dream"). He is dragged from the field and returned to his friends by the Field Mice who police the area.
Marching up to the gates of the beautiful Emerald City, they are met by the Gatekeeper who insists they must all be fitted with a pair of green tinted glasses that are locked on to prevent their eyes from being blinded by the dazzling sights. They enter the city and look about in awe at the richly dressed people that inhabit this magnificent place ("Emerald City Ballet"). The haughty and condescending people laugh and ridicule this odd party for wanting to see the Wizard until they see that Dorothy is wearing the Witch of the East's silver shoes. The quartet is shown right into his palace.
Once in the throne room, they are assaulted by a great show of lights, smoke, and pyrotechnics as the Wizard appears in several forms before them ("So You Wanted To See the Wizard"). They each plead their case to him, and the Tin Man imagines how life would be with a heart ("What Would I Do If I Could Feel"). He agrees on one condition: they must kill Evillene, the Wicked Witch of the West. Dorothy and her companions sink to the floor in tears as their goals seem farther off than ever.

Act II
Evillene rules over the yellow land of the west, enslaving its people, the Winkies. She is evil, power hungry to get what she wants ("Winkie Chant/Don't Nobody Bring Me No Bad News"). Seeing Dorothy and her odd friends approach, she sends her Winged Monkeys to kill them ("Funky Monkeys"). They dash the Tin Man against rocks until he can no longer move and rip the stuffing out of the Scarecrow also leaving him helpless. Seeing Dorothy's silver shoes, they dare not harm her. They carry her and the Lion to Evillene's castle instead. While searching for a way to get the powerful shoes from Dorothy, she forces her and the Lion to work doing menial chores. She takes delight in torturing the Lion before Dorothy which angers her. She picks up a bucket of water and throws it at her. She melts until there is just a wet, gold cap on the floor. Her spell on the Winkies is lifted, and they show their thanks by restoring the Tin Man and Scarecrow to top condition, and reuniting the four friends ("Everybody Rejoice").
Returning to the Emerald City, they see the Wizard (now a booming voice that seems to come from the very air). He reneges on his promise, and the Lion knocks over a screen in anger. Behind it stands a bewildered man who claims to be the real Wizard ("Who Do You Think You Are?"). He shows them the elaborate mechanical effects used to create his illusions, and tells them that he is really a balloonist from Omaha who traveled to Oz by accident when his hot air balloon drifted off course. The people of Oz had never seen such a sight and proclaimed him Wizard. Not wanted to disappoint them, he assumed the role and had a great city built. He then had everyone in it wear green glasses, and in time, the people came to believe it was green.
The angry quartet confronts the Wizard on his deceptions, but he points out that the Scarecrow, Tin Man, and Lion already have the things they seek as shown in their behavior on the journeys they have made ("Believe In Yourself"). They remain unconvinced so he creates physical symbols of their desires and they are satisfied. He proposes that Dorothy can return to Kansas the way he came, and offers to pilot her in his hot air balloon. He addresses the citizens of the Emerald City in person for the first time in many years, telling him of his imminent journey, and leaving the clever Scarecrow in charge ("Y'all Got It!"). Just as his speech reaches its climax, the balloon comes free from its moorings and rises quickly into the air, taking Dorothy's hopes of getting home with it.
There is a flash of light and Addaperle appears, suggesting that Dorothy ask Glinda, the Good Witch of the South, for help. She transports them to Glinda's palace in the red land of the south ("A Rested Body Is a Rested Mind"). Glinda is a beautiful and gracious sorceress, surrounded by a court of pretty girls. She tells Dorothy that the silver shoes have always had the power to take her home, but like her friends, she needed to believe that fact before it was possible ("If You Believe"). She bids a tearful goodbye to her companions, and as their faces fade into the darkness, she thinks about what she has learned, gained, and lost ("Home"). She taps the heels of the silver shoes together three times, and as Toto jumps into her arms, licking her face, she knows that she is back home at last ("Finale").

Tryouts and Broadway
The idea for the musical originated with producer Ken Harper. He replaced the original director with Geoffrey Holder in Detroit during out-of-town tryouts.
The original Baltimore cast included Renee Harris as Dorothy, Charles Valentino as the Scarecrow, Ben Harney as the Tin Man, Ken Prymus as the Cowardly Lion, and Butterfly McQueen as the Queen of the Field Mice. Only Harney would remain in the Broadway cast, but in a much smaller role.
The musical opened on January 5, 1975 at the Majestic Theatre, with Geoffrey Holder as director and the following cast: Stephanie Mills as Dorothy, Hinton Battle as the Scarecrow, Tiger Haynes as the Tin Man, Ted Ross as the Lion, Dee Dee Bridgewater as Glinda the Good Witch of the South, André DeShields as the Wizard, Mabel King as Evillene the Wicked Witch of the West, Clarice Taylor as Addaperle the Good Witch of the North, Tasha Thomas as Aunt Em, Ralph Wilcox as Uncle Henry.
Producer Ken Harper considered closing the show after its Broadway opening night. One source attributes its return to a publicity campaign and favorable audience reaction; William F. Brown, who write the book, gave a more specific explanation in 1993: "20th Century-Fox, the show's major investor, put in another $100,000 to keep it going and everyone agreed to royalty cuts until the productions cost—about $1.1 million—was recouped....By the eighth week, we were selling out."
The Broadway production moved to The Broadway Theatre on May 25, 1977, and closed on January 28, 1979, after four years and 1,672 performances.
A popular song from the production was "Ease on Down the Road", sung by the characters as they dance down the yellow brick road.
Along with other musicals including Purlie (1971) and Raisin (1974), The Wiz was a breakthrough for Broadway, a large-scale big-budget musical featuring an all-black cast. It laid the foundation for later African-American hits such as Bubbling Brown Sugar, Dreamgirls and Duke Ellington's Sophisticated Ladies.

National tour and later revival
The musical toured the US in 1976 and during the tour, Kenneth Kamal Scott replaced Andre DeShields as the Wiz, Stephanie Mills was replaced by Renee Harris, who was herself replaced in 1978 by Deborah Malone and subsequently Dorothy was portrayed by Ren Woods for the Los Angeles run at the Ahmanson Theater, where the 19-year-old made a big impression on Hollywood, casting her in the Milos Forman film Hair. Critics at the time compared her most favorably to Ms. Mills, who created the role on Broadway.
A revival ran on Broadway at the Lunt-Fontanne Theatre from May 24, 1984, through June 3, 1984, closing after 13 performances and 7 previews. Directed by Geoffrey Holder, the cast featured Stephanie Mills as Dorothy. It then ran in London at the Lyric Hammersmith from December 11, 1984, through February 2, 1985. A planned 2004 Broadway revival was not produced.
From 1996-97 there was another US national tour with Tasha Scott as Dorothy, Grace Jones (Evillene), Peabo Bryson (The Wiz), and CeCe Peniston as Glinda. The cast also featured Tony Terry as the Tin Man. Romelda Benjamin also played Aunt Em.

Act 1
"The Feeling We Once Had" – Aunt Em
"He's the Wiz" – Addaperle and Munchkins
"Soon as I Get Home" – Dorothy
"I Was Born On The Day Before Yesterday " – Scarecrow
"Ease on Down the Road" – Dorothy & Scarecrow
"Slide Some Oil to Me" – Tin Man
"Ease on Down the Road (Reprise)" - Dorothy, Scarecrow & Tin Man
"(I'm a) Mean Ole Lion" – Lion
"Ease on Down the Road (Reprise)"- Dorothy, Scarecrow, Tin Man & Lion
"Be a Lion" – Dorothy and Lion
"So You Wanted to Meet the Wizard" – Wizard
"What Would I Do If I Could Feel" – Tin Man

Act 2
"Don't Nobody Bring Me No Bad News" – Evilene & Winkies
"Wonder Wonder Why" – Dorothy (This song only appeared in the 1984 revival.)
"Everybody Rejoice (Brand New Day)" – The Company
"Who Do You Think You Are?" – Dorothy, Scarecrow, Tin Man, and Lion
"Believe in Yourself" – Wizard
"Y'all Got It!" – Wizard
"A Rested Body Is a Rested Mind" – Glinda
"Believe in Yourself" (reprise) – Glinda
"Home"/"Finale" – Dorothy

Aucun dossier informatif complémentaire concernant Wiz (The)

Aucun dossier informatif complémentaire concernant Wiz (The)

Version 1

Wiz (The) (1984-05-Lunt-Fontanne Theatre-Broadway)

Type de série: Revival
Théâtre: Lunt-Fontanne Theatre (Broadway - Etats-Unis)
Durée : 1 semaine
Nombre : 7 previews - 13 représentations
Première Preview : 17 May 1984
Première: 24 May 1984
Dernière: 03 June 1984
Mise en scène : Geoffrey Holder
Chorégraphie : George Faison
Producteur :
Star(s) :

Version 2

Wiz (The) (1985-12-Lyric Hammersmith-London)

Type de série: Original London
Théâtre: Lyric Hammersmith (Londres - Angleterre)
Durée : 1 mois 3 semaines
Nombre :
Première Preview : 08 December 1984
Première: 08 December 1984
Dernière: 02 February 1985
Mise en scène : Peter James
Chorégraphie :
Producteur :
Star(s) :

Version 3

Wiz (The) (2005-12-Upstairs at the Gatehouse-London)

Type de série: Revival
Théâtre: Upstairs at the Gatehouse (Londres - Angleterre)
Durée : 1 mois 1 semaine
Nombre :
Première Preview : 17 December 2005
Première: 17 December 2005
Dernière: 29 January 2006
Mise en scène : John Plews
Chorégraphie : Racky Plews
Producteur :
Star(s) :
Avec: Cast: Sarah Boulton (Dorothy), Sasha Hermann (Aunt Em), Stuart Hickey (Uncle Henry/The Wiz), Spencer James (Scarecrow), Emma Lindars (Evillene), Louisa Copperwaite (Addaperle), Andrew Fitzpatrick (Lion), Jonathan Eio (Tinman), Georgina Wyatt, Caroline Fox
Commentaires : Performed by an all-white cast and in the tiny fringe venue, this was praised for its youthful energy and little else.

Version 4

Wiz (The) (2006-09-Beatrix Theater-London)

Type de série: Revival
Théâtre: Beatrix Theater (Utrecht - Pays-Bas)
Durée : 1 an 1 mois 1 semaine
Nombre :
Première Preview : 09 September 2006
Première: 09 September 2006
Dernière: 17 October 2007
Mise en scène :
Chorégraphie :
Producteur :
Star(s) :
Avec: Dorothy: Nurlaila Karim / Blikkeman: Jerrel Houtsnee / Laffe Leeuw: Peter Rijnbeek / Sadista: Sophia Wezer / The Wiz: Jamai Loman, Jim de Groot / Vogelverschrikker: Danny Yanga, Jamai Loman (alternate) / Glinda: Mathilde Santing, Esther Hart (alternate), Glennis Grace (alternate) / Acadabra: Nicòle Berendsen

 Pas encore de video disponible pour ce spectacle