The Wiz

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The Wiz is a broadway adaptation of The Wizard of Oz. In it, the cast is composed entirely of African American actors, and the setting is in Harlem, New York instead of Kansas. The Wiz was popular when it was first released in broadway theatres in 1975. A movie version of The Wiz was made in 1978, starring celebrities like Michael Jackson and Diana Ross. This production has been around for a while, and it’s pretty well-known.

Last week, the Brown Theatre in Louisville, Kentucky, had Kansas City’s Island Entertainment company perform The Wiz as a part of their season’s productions. Many people who attended the play were disappointed and one employee of the Brown Theatre said that “the whole thing [was] weird. Some people didn’t stay more than nine minutes through the show. There was a woman who was so distraught she walked out and spent the entire time talking to the ticket sales people as the show was going on.”

Apparently, the company who performed the musical had a rough night. According to Fox News, Helen Barnett (who bought her ticket for $65!) complained that “Dorothy was wearing a Walmart dress, they forgot their dialogues … at one point Dorothy said she wanted to go back to Texas!”

According to Broadway World, another audience member who saw the play later that day claimed that “the Cowardly Lion’s costume [was] missing a tail, a mane, and one of his paws. ‘He looked like a dumb sasquatch!’ In addition, she said at several points in the show, the lights had to be dimmed because the cast and crew set the wrong scene. The projected background was coming from a laptop that kept displaying notifications throughout the show.”

Overall, the show was a disaster that caused a lot of negative feedback from the audience. Many people are demanding full refunds. The Brown Theatre has tried to redirect the heat by essentially telling their customers that it was Island Entertainment’s fault that they had such a horrible experience. “All refund requests have been forwarded to Island Entertainment.”

So if you’re looking for a good musical to see at the local theatre, I think it’d be a safe call to buy tickets to Peter Pan or Mamma Mia! or something that hasn’t made middle-aged women go on internet rants where they demand refunds. Or just watch the movie version of The Wiz. You can’t go wrong with Michael Jackson.

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