Central State presents soulful musical ‘The Wiz’

Central State University will take a trip to Oz with its production of “The Wiz” on April 14 and 15.

The university’s Title III Theatre Arts Program will present the Tony Award-winning, “classical super soul musical” with a two-night run. A dress rehearsal performance will be open to the public on April 14 at 2 p.m. followed by showtimes on both nights starting at 7 p.m.

“The Wiz,” a reimagining of “The Wizard of Oz” featuring an all-Black cast, was adapted from a children’s book to the stage in 1975 where it went on to win seven Tony Awards. Three years later, the musical was adapted into a movie with big names including Michael Jackson, Diana Ross, Nipsey Russell, Lena Horne and Richard Pryor.

“It was an early example of Broadway’s mainstream acceptance of works with an all-Black cast,” show organizers said.

Visiting artist Quae Simpson will direct the show. CSU alum Christopher Smith serves as vocal coach. The cast is comprised of a combination of professional performers and CSU students. The orchestra will showcase faculty and student musicians.

Performances are free to attend but donations will be accepted at the door.

The shows will also be streamed live on Facebook, which can be viewed here: https://www.facebook.com/CentralState87/.

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