The Wiz, a soul-filled version of the Wonderful Wizard of Oz, opened last weekend at Murfreesboro’s Center for the Arts.

A joyous retelling of Frank Baum’s classic children’s story grounded in contemporary African-American culture, the show follows Dorothy (Zakiyah Lamb) after she gets swept up in a tornado and finds herself in the fantastical world of Oz. There, she makes friends with the Lion (Terrell Hunt), Scarecrow (Drew Castle) and Tin Man (Terrance McBride); battles the evil witch Evilene (Rachael Gray); and seeks the aid of the all-powerful and mysterious Wiz (Shonka Dukureh). Ultimately, Dorothy finds that, if you believe with all your heart, you can always find your way home.

With an infectious soul score, dynamic dance numbers, and an endearing cast of characters, The Wiz is an explosion of music, dance, magic, and heart to delight audience members of all ages.

“It beautifully provides social commentary while remaining consistent with the central themes of family, self-love & home. It was an influential work of art that informed me about the potential of creativity ... the importance of knowledge,” said director and choreographer Patriq James. “This spirited & gifted cast ranges from first-timers to highly regarded artists in the industry and they have made it their business to knock your socks off.”

The Wiz features numerous musical numbers including the song “Home,” which has been a pop hit since 1977 and covered by artists including Diana Ross, Barbara Streisand, and Whitney Houston.

Tickets are $14 for children and $18 for adults and are on sale online at boroarts.org and by phone at 615-904-ARTS (2787). Tickets and season passes are also available at the Center for the Arts Box Office, 110 W. College St., in downtown Murfreesboro. Discounts are available for students, seniors, the military and groups of 10 or more.

This weekend’s performances include a 2 p.m. matinee today, Sunday, July 14. The  production closes next weekend with 7:30 p.m. performances on Friday and Saturday, July 19 and 20, and a 2 p.m. matinee on Sunday, July 21.

 

About the Center for the Arts

The Center for the Arts opened to the public on Dec. 1, 1995 and was originally funded by the City of Murfreesboro and Rutherford County. In 2008 The Center became a non-profit 501 (c)(3) organization and now depends on the generosity of the public for funding.  Since its opening, the Center for the Arts has been presenting theatrical productions, visual art exhibitions, music concerts, dance performances and educational classes.