Cicero-North Syracuse High School Casts No Leading African American Students in THE WIZ
A Cicero-North Syracuse High School parent is upset that their musical "The Wiz" will not have any African American students in leading roles.
Letrice Titus will bring her concerns to the North Syracuse Central School District Board of Education tonight. She also has the support of the local chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People. Preston Fagan, local NAACP chapter president, will accompany Titus to the meeting.
Titus brought her concerns to the musical director, Caryn Patterson, and school officials last month. Titus said she felt that the North Syracuse Central School District dismissed her concerns. Titus' daughter, Kierrah Titus, tried out for a leading role and was selected as a member of the ensemble, but dropped out of the play.
The Wiz: The Super Soul Musical "Wonderful Wizard of Oz" is a musical with music and lyrics by Charlie Smalls and book by William F. Brown. It is a retelling of L. Frank Baum's The Wonderful Wizard of Oz in the context of African-American culture. It opened on October 21, 1974 at the Morris A. Mechanic Theatre in Baltimore, Maryland and moved to the Majestic Theatre with a new cast on January 5, 1975.
The 1975 Broadway production won seven Tony Awards, including Best Musical. The musical was an early example of Broadway's mainstream acceptance of works with an all-black cast. The musical has had revivals in New York, London, San Diego and the Netherlands, and a limited-run revival was presented by Encores! at New York City Center in June 2009. A film adaptation was released in 1978.
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