NewsPerformance Photos! Original Cast Members Reunite to Ease on Down the Road in Free Outdoor Concert Staging of The WizPhylicia Rashad joined fellow original cast members André De Shields and Dee Dee Bridgewater for the Aug. 12 free concert performance of music from The Wiz in New York's Central Park, to celebrate the show's 40th anniversary.
August 13, 2015
Officially titled "The Wiz: A Celebration in Dance & Music," the event included performances of original songs and dances from the Tony-winning show, including "Ease on Down the Road," "Home" and "If You Believe." It took place on the Central Park Summerstage. The concert will be repeated Aug. 13 and 14 in Marcus Garvey Park in Harlem.
Performance Photos! Original Cast Members Reunite to Ease on Down the Road in Free Outdoor Concert Staging of The Wiz
Original choreographer George Faison organized the event and recreates his dances for the concert, with musical direction by Damien L. Sneed. For his work on The Wiz, Faison was the first African-American to win a Tony Award for Best Choreography.
Rashad, who played a Munchkin in the chorus of the original Tony Award winning 1975 production, emcees the concert, with performances by De Shields (The Wiz); Tony Award-Winner Bridgewater (Glinda), Ebony Jo-Ann (Addaperle), Wallace Gary (The Scarecrow) and Inaya Day (Dorothy). William F. Brown wrote the book for the soulful contemporary retelling of L. Frank Baum's "The Wonderful Wizard of Oz." The Wiz also features music and lyrics by Charlie Smalls. The original 1974 production, directed by Geoffrey Holder and choreographed by George Faison, won seven Tony Awards including Best Musical. The premiere Broadway company featured Hinton Battle, Tiger Haynes, Stephanie Mills, Ted Ross, Dee Dee Bridgewater, André De Shields and Mabel King. Diana Ross and Michael Jackson starred in the film version.