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April 22, 2009 > Theater Preview: The Dazzling "Wiz"

Theater Preview: The Dazzling "Wiz"

The Newark Memorial High School Drama Department, with a cast and crew of over 55 is proud to present the Tony Award-winning showing of the dazzling family musical-comedy, "The Wiz".

It begins on a tumbledown farm in Kansas, but the tornado sets Dorothy and Toto down in a bit-city-like Oz. The words are jive, the songs upbeat. After celebrating the demise of the Wicked Witch of the East with the Munchkins, Dorothy departs for the Emerald City with a live yellow brick road. She encounters a hip Scarecrow who wants to join her because he has a feeling he isn't going anywhere; an uptight Tin Man who needs Dorothy's help to hang loose again, and a mama's-boy Lion who has lost faith in the psychiatric help he's been getting from an owl. Together they will seek help from the Great Man in the flashy city.

They encounter the deadly poppy field, and all escape except the Lion, who is tripping off with a group of the sensuous flowers. He is rescued by the mice squad, decidedly against his will. They meet with the Wizard who agrees to grant all their wishes as a package deal - if they knock off Evillene, the Wicked Witch of the West.

They nearly get there but are captured by her winged monkeys. Only when the witch is at her meanest does Dorothy lose her cool and douse the old hag with water. Quite surprisingly, the wicked witch melts to a harmless puddle. Confronted with their triumph, the Wiz confesses that he was only a two-bit con man from Omaha until the Almighty Himself told him to come to the big city to spread the word about the simple things in life - power, prestige, and money - that only through his ability to give everyone in town a pair of green sunglasses has he been recognized as the powerful Wiz. Using similar magic, he convinces the Scarecrow, the Tin Man, and the Lion of their brains, heart, and courage. There is the normal mix-up during his departure in his balloon without Dorothy and the re-appearance of the good witches, Addaperle and Glinda, who inform Dorothy that she has merely to click the heels of her silver slippers together three times to return home.

To order your tickets, or for more information, call (510) 818-4451.

The Wiz
Fridays and Saturdays
April 24, 25; May 1, 2, 8, 9
9 p.m.

Sunday Matinees
April 26 and May 3
2 p.m.

Newark Memorial Theatre
39375 Cedar Blvd., Newark
(510) 818-4451

Tickets $10 or $13 at the door

Advanced tickets at:
The Book End
5678 Thornton Ave., Newark
(510) 797-4100

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