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Phylicia Rashad, Andre De Shields & More Original Cast Reunite for THE WIZ in Central Park Today

Ease on down to Central Park this week!

Several original cast members from the iconic Broadway premiere production of THE WIZ are convening to celebrate the classic musical in honor of its 40th anniversary in a series of special performances.

Phylicia Rashad, Andre De Shields, Dee Dee Bridgewater and more will join to fete the musical in Central Park and Marcus Garvey Park with a series of special outdoor celebrations featuring song, story and dance titled THE WIZ: A CELEBRATION IN DANCE & MUSIC.

Also, the performance will feature Darlescia Cearcy as Dorothy, Nicole Elaine Phifer as Evilene, Regi Woods as Lion and Wallace Gary as Scarecrow.

Of note, the Central Park performance will be held tonight, August 12, with two performances also scheduled for Marcus Garvey Park tomorrow and Thursday, August 13 and 14.

The official description of THE WIZ: A CELEBRATION IN DANCE & MUSIC is as follows: "George Faison, internationally celebrated producer, writer, composer, director, choreographer and dancer, made history in 1975 when he became the first African American to win a Tony Award for Best Choreography for THE WIZ. In honor of the Broadway hit's 40th anniversary this year, Faison will present performances of original songs and dances from the show. Mr. Faison also heads the Faison Firehouse Theater in Central Harlem, which he founded in 2000 along with Tad Schnugg.The Firehouse is a technologically advanced theater where Mr. Faison develops digital applications for the performing arts as well as original theater pieces. The 130 seat theater, branded "Hollywood of Harlem" by the media, is a full service performing arts and cultural center with fine arts galleries, rehearsal facilities and a cabaret theater.

A number of members of the original Broadway cast will return for this celebratory run! Actress Phylicia Rashad, a munchkin and swing in the original production, will co-host the performance with George Faison. André De Shields will reprise his original role as the Wiz; Dee Dee Bridgewater, Tony Award winner for her role as Glinda will reprise this original role; and Ebony Jo-Ann, who played Addaperle in the Broadway revival of the production will reprise her role as well. Singer-songwriter Wallace Gary will join the cast as the Scarecrow. Damien L. Sneed will act as the musical director and conductor of The Wiz: A Celebration in Dance and Music."

More information on THE WIZ: A CELEBRATION IN DANCE & MUSIC is available at the official site here.

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From This Author Pat Cerasaro

Pat Cerasaro contributes exclusive scholarly columns including InDepth InterViews, Sound Off, Theatrical Throwback Thursdays, Flash Friday and Flash Special as well as additional special features, (read more...)