Maine State's Wiz, Featuring Gwen Stewart, LaQuet Sharnell, E. Clayton Cornelious, Begins Aug. 10

News   Maine State's Wiz, Featuring Gwen Stewart, LaQuet Sharnell, E. Clayton Cornelious, Begins Aug. 10
 
Maine State Music Theatre concludes its season with the Tony Award-winning musical The Wiz, beginning Aug. 10 at the Pickard Theater in Brunswick, ME.

LaQuet Sharnell
LaQuet Sharnell

The musical, which runs through Aug. 27, is directed by MSMT alum Donna Drake with choreography by Mark Stuart.

The Wiz features Gwen Stewart (Big River, Rent, Starmites) as Evillene and Addaperle, LaQuet Sharnell (Memphis, The Lion King) as Dorothy, Eric B. Anthony (Hairspray, Mary Poppins) as the Scarecrow, E. Clayton Cornelious (Wonderland, The Scottsboro Boys, A Chorus Line) as the Tinman, Nikkieli DeMone as the Lion, Bobby Daye (Shrek the Musical, The Lion King, Dreamgirls) as the Wiz and Gayle Turner (The Wiz) as Aunt Em and Glinda.

In The Wiz, as in L. Frank Baum’s "The Wonderful Wizard of Oz," Dorothy, the little girl from Kansas, is blown by a tornado into the Land of Oz where she meets the Scarecrow, the Tinman and the Lion, defeats the evil witch, and goes to see the powerful Wizard. According to MSMT, the company "presents The Wiz as it was originally intended, with an all African American cast. The Wiz is a universal story transformed into a multicultural experience, and an exciting show for all audiences. The themes of finding yourself and finding your way home are the powerful lessons learned from the story."

The winner of seven Tony Awards for its 1975 Broadway opening, The Wiz includes songs such as “Home,” “Ease on Down the Road,” “Believe in Yourself” and “Brand New Day.” The musical was made into a movie in 1978 starring Diana Ross and Michael Jackson.

MSMT will also feature Tony Award nominee Euan Morton (Taboo) in a concert event Aug. 15 at 7:30 PM, as well as a new interpretation of Beauty and the Beast, written by Marc Robin and Curt Dale Clark, Aug. 22.

The Pickard Theater is located at 1 Bath Road in Brunswick, ME, on the campus of Bowdoin College. For more information and tickets, call (207) 725-8769 or visit www.msmt.org.

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