The Black Repertory in Berkeley will feature encore performances of “The Wiz” Februay 18 and 25, 2018. Photo by Carla Thomas.
Black Repertory Group Mainstage Productions presented the timeless family classic “The Wiz” over the holiday season. The production was so well received that encore performances are scheduled for February 18th and 25th. With BRG flair and special arrangement with Samuel French, Inc., the production celebrated its 54th season.
Guests eased on down the road with Dorothy and friends as the play brought the wonder and amazement of “The Wiz” to the BRG stage. Filled with quick-witted action and comedy, the musical featured a soulful musical score of R&B, pop and disco. “I wanted to dance in my seat,” said attendee Starran Garret with her cousin.
The audience sang along to favorites with an outstanding lead performance of Dorothy, played by Tayonika Vaught Scott. Scott sang with strength and was accompanied by the adorable little Kelsey Heaven Tanksley, who portrayed Toto.
Also, actors performed throughout the audience as Dorothy, Scarecrow, Tin Man and the Lion as they danced their way to Em City and their magical journey through Oz. the poppies scene featured some sizzling actors in the steamy scene. In the Sweat shop scene, Evillene, played by Divine Celiane, stole the show. Dressed in a red tutu, Celiane powerfully sang “No Bad News.”
Other stars of the show included: Scarecrow, Jamal Williams; Tin Man, Stefon Williams; Cowardly Lion, Chris Poston, and understudy: Whitfield Mc Tair.
Artistic Director Dr. Mona Vaughn Scott, Director Sean Vaughn Scott, Co-Director Dr. Angel Lands, and Dr. Angel Green, Choreographer brought the play to life. The set and costumes were designed by Nora Brunette. Divine Celiane also served as musical director.
Dr. Lands served as mistress of ceremonies and kept the audience entertained in between scenes. Audience members also enjoyed a choice of popcorn, hotdogs and even gumbo during the performance.
“The Wiz,” based on the book by William F. Brown and music and lyrics by Charlie Smalls is a spin-off of the original story “The Wonderful Wizard of Oz” by L. Frank Baum.
The closing scene was extra special as the cast lined the theater lobby and sang while attendees exited the theater. For more information on BRG’s other productions and tickets, visit: www.blackrepertorygroup.com