Regional Reviews: Cleveland & Akron
Also see Mark's review of Outside Mullingar
Meeting on a regular basis, this best of the best endured hour after hour and day after day of rehearsals until the show was as perfect as could be humanly possible. An extravagant multi-tiered set was constructed and professional lighting and sound were designed, bringing a Broadway-like quality to this exceptional performance. The orchestra is made up of various local professional musicians and supplemented with talented musicians from the various local schools that are part of the Cleveland Metropolitan School District.
With a cast of unknowns (outside of the school district) from area schools, you might not expect much from this show, but you would be totally wrong. To begin with, the show is being staged in the Ohio Theatre at Playhouse Square which has one of the best sound and lighting systems in Northeast Ohio. The cast has strenuously rehearsed over and over until each song, line of dialog and dance step is perfect. The orchestra is in top form and the costuming and set designs are a sheer delight.
At the morning production open to students of the school district the show had audience members singing along, dancing along, and laughing along at the little jokes tucked inside the story.
Dorothy lives with her Aunt and Uncle in Kansas and is unhappy with her lot in life. When a tornado whisks her away to a strange and wonderful land called OZ, she begins to realize how precious her family is to her and wishes to return to them soon. She is befriended by a Scarecrow who is in search of a brain, a Tin Man in search of a heart. and a Cowardly Lion in search of courage. Together they travel to the Emerald City to meet the Wiz, whom they think can grant all their wishes. In this version, each member of the quartet has something that the other member lacks. While short on brains, the Scarecrow has optimism, hope, and a heart. The Tin Man displays courage against all odds and the Cowardly Lion brings an air of caution to the mix, while Dorothy is the glue that holds the group together. The main theme is that of inclusion and the fact that each and every one of us has talents we can share with one another.
Come out and support this tremendous effort of very talented young actors who may well be the future stars of Broadway.
The Wiz, Ohio Theatre, Friday, March 24 at 7:30 p.m., Saturday, March 25 at 7:30 p.m., and Sunday, March 26 at 3 p.m. General Admission tickets are $15.00 each and may be purchased online by going to www.playhousesquare.org/events/detail/the-wiz, by phone at 216-241-6000, or by stopping by the Playhouse Square Box Office located in the outer lobby of the State Theatre.