JUPITER — Dorothy, Toto and friends touch down in the northern reaches of Palm Beach County in early 2015 as they try to meet the Wizard in the Tony Award-winning Broadway sensation The Wiz.
South Florida theatergoers can ease on down the road with the spirited rock gospel and soul musical based on the beloved classic The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, which plays through Feb. 1 at the Maltz Jupiter Theatre. Featuring the hits Ease on Down the Road, Home and Believe in Yourself, promoters say this family-friendly stage phenomenon is the smash hit of the New Year.
Directed by the Theatre’s producing artistic director, Andrew Kato, promoters say The Wiz will come alive with the exhilarating theatrical elements of full-stage projections, imaginative puppetry, aerial flying and evocative scenery to tell the story of Dorothy’s quest to Oz. The Wiz invites audiences to marvel at the spectacle of a stunning onstage tornado and enchanting illusions and movement, featuring choreography by Jennifer Werner and music direction by Eric Alsford. Costume designer Leon Dobkowski has designed original costumes that have been built specifically for this production. This Broadway hit is perfect for all ages.
“This soul-infused Blockbuster will take you on a journey you won’t soon forget,” Kato said. “This iconic and universal story will take us back to a time when we believed there was something special at the end of the rainbow, where monkeys could fly, and where good witches used their magic power to get us home. The Wiz has all the staging sorcery to take you to there.”
With music and lyrics by Charlie Smalls and book by William F. Brown, The Wiz is a retelling of L. Frank Baum’s timeless tale in the context of African-American culture. Featuring vivacious beats and an unforgettable musical score, the 1975 Broadway production swept that year’s Tony Awards, winning prizes for Best Musical and Best Score, among others.
The roles of Glinda and Aunt Em will be played by Tony-nominated legendary actress Brenda Braxton, seen in NBC’s musical drama Smash and on Broadway in Chicago, Smokey Joe’s Café, Jelly’s Last Jam, Dreamgirls, Cats and more. The roles of The Wiz and Uncle Henry will be played by veteran performer Kingsley Leggs, whose Broadway credits include Sister Act, The Color Purple and Miss Saigon. The Tinman will be portrayed by prominent actor Tyrick Wiltez Jones, known for his roles on Broadway in the recent revival of Finian’s Rainbow and Hairspray. The production will star New York-based actress Destinee Rea as Dorothy.
The Wiz is a musical for everyone, including children and teens. The Theatre’s annual School Spirit Night is back on Friday, Jan. 16, at 7:30 p.m. Students 18 and under can buy a mezzanine ticket for only $20 with a
post-show dessert meet-and-greet with the cast. School Spirit Night is sponsored by RBC Wealth Management
and supported by Kilwin’s of Jupiter.
There will be a special family performance on Friday, Jan. 30, at 6 p.m., followed by a post-show dessert meet-and-greet with the cast in the lobby after the performance. Family Show Time is supported by Whole Foods Market and Kool 105.5 FM.
The theatre’s Sixth Annual Gay Pride Night is Saturday, Jan. 31. Hors d’oeuvres will be served in the lobby at 7 p.m., followed by a performance on stage of The Wiz at 8 p.m. Then join the cast in the Conservatory for a post-show dessert meet-and-greet. Pride Night is sponsored by Morgan Stanley and supported by South Florida Gay News, 900AM The Talk of the Palm Beaches, Compass and Kilwin’s of Jupiter.
Tickets for The Wiz start at $54.
For additional information, call (561) 575-2223 or visit www.jupitertheatre.org. For more information on bringing your group to the Theatre, contact group concierge Shannon Murphy at (561) 972-6117.