The Theater: Jumping Jivernacular

THE WIZ

Music and Lyrics by CHARLIE SMALLS

Choreography by GEORGE FAISON

Costumes and Direction by GEOFFREY HOLDER

Purists and adulators of Judy Garland may carp, and one can understand why, but this all-black musical version of The Wizard of Oz is a carnival of fun. It grins from the soul, sizzles with vitality, and flaunts the gaudy hues of an exploding rainbow.

The Kansas of The Wiz is as close to middle America as Harlem's Lenox Avenue at 125th Street. The show, with all new music and lyrics, is saucy with black urban humor. Its talk is jumping jivernacular, its walk is a big-city...

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