French's Musical Library
The Wiz
ISBN 0573680914

The Theater Will Rock You: A History of the Rock Musical, From Hair to Hedwig
By Elizabeth L. Wollman
ISBN 0472115766

Michael Jackson: The Magic, The Madness, The Whole Story 1958-2009
By J Randy Taraborrelli
ISBN 9780446564748

The History:

The Wiz is a remake of the original "The Wonderful Wizard of Oz", a popular children's literature book written by Lyman Frank Baum. The Wiz is a broadway musical adapted from the original book. Charlie Smalls began working on this musical in 1970, gaining national attention. The Wiz opened at the Majestic Theatre on Broadway on January 5,1975. The Wiz was later transferred to the broadway Theater on May 25,1977. This musical consist of an African American casting crew.


Ted Ross - Lion; Mabel King - Evillene; Mariann Aalda - Aunt Em's Party; Alvin Alexis - Aunt Em's Party; Vicki Baltimore - Green Lady; Clyde J. Barrett - Subway Peddler; Claude Brooks - Aunt Em's Party; Thelma Carpenter - Miss One; Willie C. Carpenter - Aunt Em's Party; Stanley Greene - Uncle Henry; Carlton Johnson - Head Winkie; Theresa Merritt - Aunt Em; Jaime Perry; Mabel Robinson - Munchkin #2; Glory Van Scott - Rolls-Royce Lady; Ted Williams - Munchkin #1; Dorothy Fox - Aunt Em's Party; Harry Madsen - Cheetah; Joe Lynn - Gold Footman; Billie Allen - Aunt Em's Party; Ted Butler; Donald King; Johnny Brown

Movie vs. Musicalwiz75_wc.jpg

The musical, The Wiz, and its movie adaptation have significant differences. Unlike the musical which mostly stays true to Baum's "The Wonderful Wizard of Oz," the movie, made in 1978, has some major changes. For example, the young girl living in Kansas, Dorothy, is replaced by a young woman living in Harlem. The decision to alter the traditional character of Dorothy was made as a result of Diana Ross' desire to play her. Many critics and fans of The Wiz, as well as The Wizard of Oz, were upset by this change, however, and this may be part of the reason why the movie was not received well. Other changes made were the removal of the musical number, "So You Wanted to See The Wiz" due to Richard Pryor's inability to sing and altering the mythical setting to a dreamlike version of New York. The script of the movie adaptation is also completely different from the script of the musical, with the exception of the songs. The Wiz, as a musical won many awards including 7 Tonys, and, despite its poor critical reception, the movie has remained a cult classic.

The Wiz: Modern Productions

Though the original Broadway production was a hit, modern attempts to tell the story have not been received well; Yet The Wiz still continues to be performed on stage in many creative ways and is a popular musical to this day.

The Wiz 2009 production starring Ashanti as Dorothy

Clinton White House Staff, law from owning. "Affirmative Action: History and Rationale." Almanac of Policy Issues. N.p., 19 July 1995. Web. 14 July 2010.
Green, Kay. Broadway musicals, show by show (1996), Hal Leonard Corporation, ISBN 0-7935-7750-0, p. 241

Harpole, Charles (2003). History of the American Cinema. Simon and Schuster. pp. 64, 65, 219, 220, 290. ISBN 0684804638.
Stuever, Hank (January 30, 2005). "Michael Jackson On Film: No Fizz After 'The Wiz'". The Washington Post (The Washington Post Company
The Wiz. Dir. Sidney Lumet. Perf. Diana Ross, Michael Jackson, Nipsey Russell. Universal Studios, 1978. DVD.
The Wiz: Vocal Selections From the 1978 Movie. Van Nuys: Alfred Publishing Co., Inc., 1999. Print.
The Wizard of Oz is given an African American flair in the production the Wiz. While the Wiz includes a line- up of African American superstars including Diana Ross, Michael Jackson, Lena Horne, Richard Pryor and Mabel King; Quncy Jones has written it a way that captures our attention and keeps it. This musical has been performed at many schools across the country by singers like Jazmine Sullivan, and Stephanie Mills.

Watson, Elwood. Pimps, Wimps, Studs, Thugs and Gentlemen: Essays on Media Images of Masculinity. North Carolina: Mcfarland, 2009. Print.

The Wiz is a African-American version of the Wizard of Oz based on the book by L. Frank Baum. It consists of an all black cast, because it was wriiten for the African American communities a lot of people could not grasp the concept behind the play. It was also compared to The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, a musical from which it was copied. The musical was written about the struggle and plights that African Americans face in society.

Credit to L. Frank Baum
Credit to L. Frank Baum

Credit to L. Frank Baum

external image wiz32.JPG
external image wiz32.JPG