The Wiz play came to Atlanta, recreated and produced by True Colors Theatre. Taking on the renowned musical is an enormous feat with gigantic shoes to fill. The 1978 film featured Diana Ross, Michael Jackson, Richard Pryor among many others with the music being produced by one of the greatest producers of several generations, the iconic Quincy Jones. The Wiz was adapted from “The Wonderful Wizard of Oz,” which received massive mainstream success with the book and film that was ran on national television annually for several years.
The Brian Jordan Jr.-directed show was flawless. Immaculate performances were delivered by the entire cast, the characters appeared to be meticulously chosen as the actors were all precise fits for their roles. Dorothy, played by Taloria Merricks, received a standing ovation at the end of the show. She had a large and dynamic voice and used it to perfection. Merricks displayed great control over her voice, being able to keep the soft and anxious energy of Dorothy in her acting scenes while belting out ballads that showed off her vocal range. Merricks could hit every note.
I want to reiterate there wasn’t one misstep in the show. George Lovett, mostly known for his skills as a singer, appearing on season 13 of American Idol, put on a performance with his role of Scarecrow. He embodied the character while adding humor throughout the entire performance. Until he sung, his voice almost took a backseat to his acting which is a testament to his acting chops.
Q Parker from the Grammy Award winning group 112 also delivered. As the Tinman, Parker showed his talents, being a former theatre student, he also is a dual threat. During his solo songs he showed vocal prowess of an industry legend being able to produce and hold falsetto notes with ease.
It’s extremely difficult to single out anyone in this show because it was brilliant from top to bottom. Greg McKinney kept the crowd lively and laughing as Lion. Feener Eaddy personified the multi-faceted Wiz, Latrice Pace and Tina Fears starred in their roles as Glinda and Evillene. The dancing was superb, the routines were mixed with the essence of the original along with the soul of Atlanta. The dancers were in sync, talented and skilled to the highest level.
Hopefully the show returns at some point, we would only be so lucky to get a reprise of this talent. The show ran from June 13th – July 2nd. The last weekend of the show was completely sold out and it has received critical acclaim and high praise from all who witnessed it.