Watch the cast of the St. Louis Muny production of The Wiz, which began performances June 19 at the outdoor venue, perform the Charlie Smalls classic “Ease on Down the Road” in the video above.
Denis Jones, a Tony nominee for Holiday Inn, directs the production, which runs through June 25. The family favorite also features choreography by Camille A. Brown (choreographer of the current, Tony-winning Broadway revival of Once On This Island) and musical direction by Darryl Archibald.
The cast is led by Nathan Lee Graham (Zoolander, Priscilla Queen of the Desert) in the title role, After Midnight’s Jared Grimes as Scarecrow, The Scottsboro Boys’ James T. Lane as Tinman, Danyel Fulton as Dorothy, Darius de Haas as Lion, E. Faye Butler as Addaperle/Evillene, and Demetria McKinney as Glinda.
The ensemble includes Akilah Ayanna, Rhaamell Burke-Missouri, Kevin Curtis, Chloé Davis, Timothy L. Edwards, Chavon Hampton, Cameron Anika Hill, Karma Jenkins, Amber Pickens, Malaiyka Amiyna Reid, Allysa Shorte, Donald Shorter, Voltaire Wade-Greene, Sir Brock Warren, Nathaniel J. Washington, and Brion Marquis Watson as well as the Muny Kid and Teen youth ensembles.
The limited engagement also has scenic design by Edward E. Haynes Jr., costume design by Leon Dobkowski, lighting design by Rob Denton, sound design by John Shivers and David Patridge, video design by Greg Emetaz, and wig design by Leah J. Loukas, with animals trained by William Berloni Theatrical Animals, Inc. The production stage manager is Nancy Uffner.
William F. Brown wrote the book for the updated retelling of L. Frank Baum's classic. 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 Tony-winning score also includes such musical theatre standards as “Home,” “Everybody Rejoice,” and “If You Believe.”