REVIEW: 'The Wiz' at The Muny

This adaptation is a very joyous, buoyant and faithfully urban contemporary retelling of the L. Frank Baum storybook tale.

Harry Hamm
June 22, 2018 - 11:13 am

Photo courtesy of The Muny

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An opening night crowd of 6,758 braved the rain and a delayed start time of 9:38 p.m. to see “The Wiz” at The Muny. (The show runs 2:16, including the intermission.) Their patience was rewarded.

This adaptation is a very joyous, buoyant and faithfully urban contemporary retelling of the L. Frank Baum storybook tale.

In this company, Danyel Fulton is an innocently adventurous Dorothy just trying to get back to Kansas. Her traveling companions are ably portrayed by Jared Grimes as the Scarecrow; Darius de Haas as the Lion; and James T. Lane as the Tinman.

Nathan Lee Graham is way too flamboyant as the Wiz, although I understand this approach for this type of revamping. However, even for this type of theatrical conversion, there should be a fun meanness in the role of The Wiz. This company portrays the Wiz as more flip than funny.

I enjoyed the staging and costuming. But most of all, I liked the indomitable spirit and nuclear energy of the vocals and the choreography.

Because the show was so late beginning (intermission came at 11 p.m.,) I had to leave before the second act was over due to a work schedule conflict. But I’m confident when I say I believe you and your family will enjoy this production a lot, all the way to the end of the yellow brick road.

4 Stars

The next show at The Muny is 'Singin’ in the Rain,' which will be on stage June 27 to July 3.