Review Roundup: THE WIZ at Broadway At Music Circus
The 2019 season continues with the Broadway At Music Circus premiere of The Wiz, a multiple Tony Award-winning Best Musical retelling of L. Frank Baum's novel The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, running Tuesday, Aug. 6 through Sunday, Aug. 11 at the Wells Fargo Pavilion in Sacramento. Get a first look at the cast in action below!
The Wiz follows Kansas farm girl Dorothy on her fantastical journey through the magical land of Oz. The dazzling score by Charlie Smalls, which mixes rock, gospel, pop and R&B, and features the hit "Ease On Down the Road," will have audiences jumping to their feet and dancing in the aisles. This family-friendly, timeless tale reminds us there really is "no place like home." Specially priced tickets for kids ages 4 - 12 start at $40.
Let's see what the critics have to say!
Jamila Khan, Sacramento 365: While the plot left more to be desired - why was Evillene "taken out" so soon? I would have loved hearing Zonya Love sing her pipes off a bit more - the show is a visual delight. The clothing along is something to covet: the Tinman's squeaky modern armour, Glenda's golden fiber optic gown, Evillene's sparkling Doc Martin boots, and I know, Lady Gaga could easily wear the futuristic outfits adorning Emerald City citizens. And despite its modest size, the theatre-in-the-round captures the larger-than-life world of Oz through innovative staging, choreography, and lighting. Musical highlights include "If I Could Feel," "No Bad News," "Home," the "Poppies Ballet," and, of course, "Ease on Down the Road" and its many reprises.
Bev Sykes, Davis Enterprise: "The Wiz," now at Music Circus, is a joyous, energetic, audience-pleasing musical with a cast that is mostly Equity members. The result is spectacular. This whole production, directed by Glenn Casale, with musical direction by Darryl Archibald, making his Music Circus debut, is simply a delight and a good choice for all ages. The theater was nearly filled on opening night, so tickets are selling well.
Courtney Symes, BroadwayWorld: Indeed, the cast here is something to celebrate. Adrianna Hicks is a sweetly naive Dorothy who perfectly ties up the show in the closing number, "Home." Her friends are even more impressive. Phillip Boykin's Lion sounds exactly as you would wish him to. A giant voice for the king of the beasts, and some may remember that voice as Jim from Big River a few seasons ago. James T. Lane shines (literally) as Tinman in his Broadway at Music Circus debut. His aptitude for physical comedy matches his singing, and "Slide Some Oil to Me" is one of the most entertaining numbers of the evening. Not surprisingly, the humble Scarecrow is the one who steals our hearts. His rousing "I Was Born on the Day Before Yesterday" kicks off the energy of the show and is immediately followed by the song we all know and love, "Ease on Down the Road."
Rachel Mayfield, Sacramento News and Review: You've only got until Sunday afternoon to follow the Yellow Brick Road, so get a move on. The Wizard will be leaving town, and it would be a shame to miss him. The Wiz, now at Broadway Sacramento's Music Circus, is the most visually dazzling, soulful and enjoyable of this summer's musical theater series. It shimmers and sparkles and seems to out-do itself with each new scene. It's full of excellent singers and energetic dancers, and the orchestra (led by Darryl Archibald) blows up the place with Shaft-inspired funk.