The theatre is a buzz with excitement from people from all walks of life and ages. I’m sitting comfortably in my seat and looking forward to seeing what this young talent has to offer. The lights dim and the anticipated show The Wiz is about to begin.
The Wiz is the flagship production of the annual National School of the Arts (NSA) Festival of the Arts. The festival runs from Tuesday 6th March 2018 until Sunday 11th March 2018. The Wiz is currently on show on the Mandela Stage at the Joburg Theatre.
This vibrant, feel good, award-winning Broadway musical is a magical retelling of Frank Baum’s The Wizard of Oz – the modern American fairy tale of Dorothy Gale who finds herself in the mythical Land of Oz following a violent tornado.
Audiences join Dorthy and her travelling friends, the Scarecrow, the Tinman and the lion as they ease on down the Yellow Brick Road to Emerald City to meet the magical WIZ. They all have a problem for the WIZ to solve; Dorothy needs to get home to Kansas, the Scarecrow needs a brain, the Tinman needs a heart and the cowardly Lion needs courage.
Set against a uniquely urban backdrop of familiar landmarks and skylines, The WIZ is an uplifting musical of good triumphing over evil, liberation and self-discovery. Ultimately, The WIZ encourages us to rekindle the transformative magic that resides deep in our hearts. Sometimes all you need is self belief to set your course safely home.
The annual NSA musical allows the triple threat performers, those who can sing, dance and act, to shine. The role of Dorothy is played by Angella Mulaudzi who played Killer Queen in the 2017 production of We Will Rock You.
The roles of the three friends is shared by Vuyo Maboe, Lesedi Masheane (scarecrow); Nkosikhona Mnisi, Loyiso Gqanabisa (Lion); Tsepo Skosana, Deano Paulsen (Tinman) while the title of The WIZ is shared by Tumelo Mogoashoa and Siphelele Siphiwa. Siphelele received a 100 percent scholarship to attend the Joffrey Ballet Summer School for musical theatre in New York following the Musical Theatre Bootcamp which she attended in January courtesy of Duane Alexander and Anton Luitingh of MTW.
For perfect family entertainment, “Ease on Down the Road” with The National School of the Arts to the magical land of OZ. In a world of good and evil witches, munchkins, flying monkeys, dancing poppies, crows, mice and Emerald City Citizens, we find a message of hope, acceptance, love, and redemption. We recognise the lessons that Dorothy learns as she faces the reality of growing up in the happy and loving company of a Scarecrow, a Tinman and a Lion.
The score is a dazzling mix of rock, gospel, R&B, soul and the emerging stars from NSA will delight from curtain up to the Finale.
NSA Festival of the Arts is made possible through the generous support of the RMB Fund and The National Lotteries Commission.
I thoroughly enjoyed this production and so did everyone else in the theatre. From the dancing to the singing, these young artists captured all our hearts to the point that they received a standing ovation by the audience.The amount of young talent on the Mandela Stage was overwhelming and breathtaking. These young stars are our stars of tomorrow, and by watching the show I got a glimpse of a bright and exciting future ahead of them.
The WIZ is currently showing on the Mandela Stage at the Joburg Theatre from 9 to 11 March 2018. Tickets can be booked by William F. Brown. Bookings can also be made through Joburg Theatre and Webtickets. Alternatively you can call 0861 670 670. Tickets are R100 – R120.
Information courtesy of The Colab Network and The National School of the Arts.