The Wiz, Charlie Smalls’ musical adaption of The Wizard of Oz, opened at the Majestic Theatre January 5, 1975. The production played 15 previews and 1,672 performances before closing January 28, 1979. The musical earned eight Tony nominations, winning 7 including best musical.
The Wiz follows Kansas farm girl Dorothy who works to find her way home after being transported in a tornado to a magical land. The production featured music and lyrics by Smalls and book by William F. Brown.
The original production starred Stephanie Mills as Dorothy, Tiger Haynes as the Tinman, Ted Ross as the Lion, Hinton Battle as the Scarecrow, Clarice Taylor as Addaperle, Mabel King as Evillene, André De Shields as the Wiz, and Dee Dee Bridgewateer as Glinda alongside Tasha Thomas, Phylicia Ayers-Allen, Leettie Battle, Danny Beard, Phillip Bond, Leslie Butler, Pi Douglass, Ronald Dunham, Wendy Edmead,Frank Floyd, Rodney Green, Sam Harkness, Eugene Little, Eleanor McCoy, Frances Morgan, Joni Palmer, John Parks, Howard Porter, Jozella Reed, Kenneth Scott, Evelyn Thomas, Andy Torres, Carl Weaver, and Ralph Wilcox. Rounding out the cast were Butterfly McQueen and Arnetia Walker as standbys and Cynthia Ashby and Otis Sallid as swings.
Directed by Geoffrey Holder with choreography by George Faison, The Wiz featured scenic design by Tom H. John, lighting design by Tharon Musser, costume design by Holder, and sound design by Richard J.C. Miller with stage management by Charles Blackwell, Henry Velez, and Jerry Laws. For the complete cast and creative team, visit PlaybillVault.com/TheWiz.
The show was revived in 1984 starring Stephanie Mills as Dorothy once more.
In 2015 The Wiz Live! joined NBC's series of live musical events starring Uzo Aduba as Glinda the good witch, Queen Latifah as the Wonderful Wizard of Oz, Stephanie Mills as Aunt Em, Mary J. Blige as Evillene, David Alan Grier as The Cowardly Lion, Amber Riley as Addaperle, Ne-Yo as the Tin Man, Elijah Kelley as the Scarecrow, Common as Bouncer, and 18-year-old newcomer Shanice Williams as Dorothy.