The Screening Room: Looking Back on The Wiz

News   The Screening Room: Looking Back on The Wiz
 
Forty years ago this past January, The Wiz opened on Broadway as the sleeper hit of the season, and went on to win the Tony Award as Best Musical and run for four years. The show has been chosen for a live TV broadcast this fall, and a Broadway revival in 2016.

With a score by Charlie Smalls and a book by William F. Brown, the show retold the story of The Wizard of Oz with a completely African-American cast and cultural setting. It made a star of 17-year-old Stephanie Mills, as Dorothy.

 

Jazmine Sullivan, who's now a big R&B star, had a viral video of her singing "Home" when she was barely 11.

Actors who appeared in the original Broadway run of the show gathered last December for a "Gypsy of the Year" reunion. Here are Andre De Shields, Ken Page and others in that performance:

 

 

Here is Stephanie Mills and members of the original cast performing "Ease on Down the Road" (audio only) from the 1975 Broadway production:

 

 

 

Here are Diana Ross (Dorothy), Michael Jackson (Scarecrow) and the cast performing "Everybody Rejoice" in the 1978 film:

 

Melinda Doolittle singing "Home" on "American Idol" (season 5):

 

Here is the late Whitney Houston performing "Home" in concert:

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