Reviews: What Are Critics Saying About The Wiz Broadway Revival | Playbill

The Verdict Reviews: What Are Critics Saying About The Wiz Broadway Revival

The production opened April 17 at the Marquis Theatre.

Nichelle Lewis, Avery Wilson, and company of The Wiz Jeremy Daniel

It's a brand new day for The Wiz as reviews are coming out for the Broadway revival of the hit musical. The Wiz officially opened at Broadway's Marquis Theatre April 17 after beginning previews March 29, capping off a pre-Broadway tour that began last year. Schele Williams (The Notebook) is at the helm. Choreography is by JaQuel Knight.

Newcomer Nichelle Lewis stars as Dorothy, joined in the cast by Wayne Brady as The Wiz, Deborah Cox as Glinda, Melody A. Betts as Aunt Em and Evillene, Kyle Ramar Freeman (A Strange Loop) as the Lion, Phillip Johnson Richardson (Sharper) as the Tinman, and Avery Wilson (The Voice) as the Scarecrow.

Read the reviews below.

AMNY (Matt Windman)

Broadway News (Brittani Samuel)

Chicago Tribune (Chris Jones)*

Cititour (Brian Scott Lipton)

Entertainment Weekly (Lester Fabian Brathwaite)

New York Post (Johnny Oleksinski)

New York Stage Review (Bob Verini, David Finkle)

New York Sun (Elysa Gardner)

New York Theater (Jonathan Mandell)

New York Theatre Guide (Kyle Turner)

The New York Times (Maya Phillips)*

Queerty (Matthew Wexler)

Slant (Dan Rubins)

The Stage (Lane Williamson)*

TheaterMania (David Gordon)

Theatrely (Juan A. Ramírez)

Variety (Naveen Kumar)

The Village Voice (Michael Musto)

Vulture (Jackson McHenry)*

The Washington Post (Gloria Oladipo)*

The Wrap (Robert Hofler)*

*This review may require creating a free account or a paid subscription.

Playbill will continue to update this list as reviews come in.

Buy your own copy of the limited edition official opening night Playbill for The Wiz at The Playbill Store.

The cast also includes Allyson Kaye Daniel as Addaperle, Anthony Murphy as Lord High Underling, and an ensemble comprising Maya Bowles, Shayla Caldwell, Jay Copeland, Collin Heyward, Judith Franklin, Amber Jackson, Olivia Jackson, Christina Jones, Cristina Raé, Polanco Jones, Jr., Kolby Kindle, Kareem Marsh, Avilon Trust Tate, and Keenan D. Washington. Alan Mingo, Jr. is the standby for The Wiz, and the company is rounded out by swings Lauryn Adams, Michael Samarie George, Mariah Lyttle, Dustin Praylow, Matthew Sims, Jr., and Timothy Wilson.

READ: When Starring in a Broadway-Bound National Tour Starts With a TikTok Video

The Wiz, featuring a score by Charlie Smalls and a book by William F. Brown, premiered on Broadway in 1975, transforming L. Frank Baum's classic children's novel into an all-Black "super soul musical," as it was originally billed. The musical made the jump to the big screen in 1978 with a film adaptation starring Diana Ross, Lena Horne, Richard Pryor, Michael Jackson, and, reprising his Broadway performance as the Cowardly Lion, Ted Ross.

This new revival features additional material by 2023 Tony Award nominee Amber Ruffin, making The Wiz the comic's second theatrical outing following her work co-writing the Tony-nominated book to Broadway's Some Like It Hot with Matthew López.

As in the original production, the musical's song list includes "The Emerald City" with music by Timothy Graphenreed and "Everybody Rejoice," with music and lyrics by Luther Vandross. Also included are the Charlie Smalls-penned songs "You Can't Win," cut from the original production but used in the 1978 film adaptation; "Wonder, Wonder Why," added to the score for the show's 1984 revival; and "We're Gonna Make It," a new adaptation of the original score's "I Was Born on the Day Before Yesterday" (replaced in its original spot by "You Can't Win").

Joseph Joubert is providing music supervision, orchestrations, and arrangements, with dance arrangements by Adam Blackstone and Terence Vaugn, vocal arrangements by Allen René Louis, music direction by Paul Byssainthe Jr., scenic design by Hannah Beachler, costume design by Sharen Davis, lighting design by Ryan J. O'Gara, video and projection design by Daniel Brodie, sound design by Jon Weston, wig design by Charles G. LaPointe, and makeup design by Kirk Cambridge-Del Pesche. Casting is by Tara Rubin and Olivia Paige West. Ralph Stan Lee serves as production stage manager.

Kristin Caskey, Mike Isaacson, and Brian Anthony Moreland lead the producing team, joined by co-producers Kandi Burruss & Todd Tucker, Elizabeth Armstrong, James L. Nederlander, Hudsonmann, Cody Lassen/Matthew D’Arrigo, Independent Presenters Network, Amanda Dubois/The Seed Group, Dori Berinstein, The Jaquel Knight Foundation, Spencer Ross/Stephanie Cowan, Terry Schnuck/Gabrielle Palitz, Pippa Lambert/Alissa Norby, Gina Vernaci, Common, Deco Entertainment, MC Lyte, Patty Baker, Marlene & Gary Cohen, Concord Theatricals, Creative Partners Productions, The Fabulous Invalid, Fakston Productions, Brian & Nick Ginsberg, Gabrielle Glore, Grove Entertainment, Haffner-Wright Theatricals, House Woods Productions, Interscope & Immersive Records, John Gore Organization, Yasuhiro Kawana, Willette and Manny Klausner, MMC Productions, LaMar Richardson, Runyonland Productions, Erica Lynn Schwartz, The Shubert Organization, Lu-Shawn Thompson, Lana Williams-Woods, The Araca Group, Blakeman-Robinson Entm’t/Ricardo Marques, Robert Tichio/Score 3 Partners, Best Yet Entertainment/Branden Grimmett, DKIM Caldwell/Mickalene Thomas, DMQR Productions/Jason Turchin, Epic Theatricals/Jeffrey Grove, Joel Glassman/Westin Hicks, Jamrock Productions/Sonya Houston Productions, Sally Johnston/Ann Scott, Judith Manocherian/Theatre Nerd Productions, Alan Seales/Gonzalez-Leiba Jr., and Ambassador Theatre Group.


Photos: The Wiz on Broadway

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