Archive for The Wiz Reviews

The Wiz Vs Return Of The Wiz Critical Review


The Wiz vs. Return Of The Wiz

By: Talia Moore

On the rector scale of 1-10 according to film critics The Wiz was a 2. It seems most of the criticism was aimed at Diana Ross, her age and her odd appearance and performance. Michael Jackson was a welcome and loved character, and the other characters were only an addition to a spiraling musical.

From the beginning of the production, The Wiz was un-budgeted, manipulated, transformed, and caused personal expense and frustration on all parties involved. It would have made more sense for the makers of this movie to follow the original stage production, but that would have been to easy. Under much undue stress the makers of, “The Wiz,” went with the script of Joel Schumacher, who completely re-wrote the movie to fit a New York state of mine.

Viewer criticism also raised questions of lengthy song renditions, poverty stricken scenes, and scantly clad dress dancers. There are so many questions gone unanswered, but why cry over spilled milk? Why not take the milk and make it into something that we can enjoy digesting?

Return Of The Wiz, is a carefully written remake of the 30 year old blunder of, “The Wiz.” Before Return Of the Wiz was written much research was done on; The Wizard Of Oz (1936) original screenplay. “The Wiz,” stage play (1975). The 1978, “The Wiz,“ screenplay and the 2006 stage play performances, “The Wiz, (De Stage play). When considering to create Return Of The Wiz all of the loose ends had to be tied up, there had to be a true emotional attachment, and the viewer would truly have to care about why Dorothy had to go home. Return Of The Wiz brings closure to a 30 year old question, “What happen to Dorothy?

Return Of The Wiz has bits and elements from each and every production from 1936-2006 Play and Screen productions of , “The Wizard Of Oz.” The characters are identifiable yet, popular for today’s audience. The casting selected for this movie targets a youthful audience. By using young actors and singers the youth audience can identify with the story and look forward to the performances of their favorite artist. Keeping the project young and modern, yet classy and classic will keep viewers coming to see this film over and over.

Visual effects for this movie must be the best ever seen. To make an epic movie, viewers must believe they are apart of something they can believe in and also fantasize about. By using special effects to make certain characters come to life is key to keeping the interest of the audience and moving the story to its peak performance. The setting takes place in Long Island, NY, but ventures into live locations of NYC instead of remote locations. Shooting background scenes will allow the viewing audience the visualize Dorothy‘s progression from Harlem to The Hampton’s and why their should be a peaceful end to this great story. Most viewers of this film are from urban areas, by viewing the film they will believe they can overcome temporary challenges and defeat their greatest fears to fulfill their ultimate purpose in life.

Some of the musical renditions of the original Wiz, have remained in, “Return Of The Wiz,” as classic music pieces, yet modern music must be composed to update musical numbers for a modern sound. To support the continuance of the storyline, we must integrate the music as apart of the plot, instead of placing the music as a full rendition in it’s self.

Return Of The Wiz will reset the precedent for the Wizard of Oz renditions. Truly the best is yet to come. This film is available for option. For more information about this film please visit or .


The Wiz History

Source: Wikipedia

Motown Productions acquired the film rights to The Wiz in 1977, and signed Stephanie Mills in anticipation of having her star in the film adaptation. Motown singer and actress Diana Ross asked Motown CEO Berry Gordy to cast her as Dorothy instead, but Gordy declined, feeling the thirty-three year old Ross was far too old for the part. However, Ross contacted Rob Cohen of Universal Pictures, who offered to have Universal finance the film if Ross were to play Dorothy, at which point Gordy acquiesced.

The resulting film version of The Wiz also starred former Motown star Michael Jackson as The Scarecrow, Nipsey Russell as the Tin Man, [Richard Pryor]as the Wiz, and Lena Horne as Glinda the Good Witch. Ted Ross and Mabel King reprised their respective roles of the Cowardly Lion and Evilene from the Broadway production. Sidney Lumet served as director, working with screenwriter Joel Schumacher (who used none of Brown’s stage script) and music supervisor Quincy Jones. Although the stage musical’s setting begins in Kansas before moving into the fanciful Oz (as do most other versions of the Oz stories), the film version of The Wiz is set in New York City: Dorothy’s real-life home is in Harlem, and the Oz of the film is an alternate fantasy version of the rest of New York City. The $22 million production was poorly received by critics and grossed only $12 million during its original theatrical release. Nor has it become an annual favorite on television as the famous 1939 film of “The Wizard of Oz” did.

The Wiz was Michael Jackson’s first feature film, and is Diana Ross’s final theatrical feature film to date. Its commercial failure helped to bring to an end the stream of all-black films that had begun with the “blaxploitation film” era of the 1970s.[1][2] However, Michael Jackson and Quincy Jones’s collaboration on the film’s soundtrack led to Jones producing three of Jackson’s most successful albums, Off the Wall, Thriller, and Bad. In later years, due to its recurrent broadcasts on television, The Wiz has become something of a cult classic among African-American audiences. [3]

The Wiz Reviews

Hi Wiz Fans We will list the Reviews for, “The Wiz,” productions from the stage play (s) to the actual movie (s). Since 1975 The Wiz has graced the presence of many viewers, and their have been reviews from movie critics to everyday people enjoying the production. We would like to see what made this production a cultural favorite or movie disaster.

The Wiz-Stageplay Production-(2006) La Jolla

It’s been over 30 years since a hip Dorothy first landed in an all-black Oz in the musical The Wiz. Now, director Des McAnuff and his team at the La Jolla Playhouse have re-imagined the Tony Award-winning show for the new millennium with a multi-cultural cast and other modern updates. For example, Aunt Em’s farmhouse here comes with a satellite TV dish, the Tinman is comprised mostly of junked computer parts, and the Lion is a bag person. But amidst all these new trappings, The Wiz has lost its heart, soul, and magic.

Willliam F. Brown has updated his book for the musical with lots of current street lingo and jokes about emergency rooms and ADD. The production is as high-tech and dazzling as can be, thanks to Robert Brill’s scenic and environmental design, Paul Tazewell’s colorful but often odd costumes, Howell Binkley’s blinding lighting, and Peter Fitzgerald’s souped-up sound. But less would have been much more; the show is so over-produced that the human element gets lost in the razzle-dazzle. (On Wednesday night, the cast had to begin the performance again after the tech crew solved the annoying problem of “white noise” at the top of the show. Later, the need for a computer reboot of a keyboard before the start of the second act contributed to a 35-minute intermission.)

Charlie Smalls’ award-winning score — even with new musical direction, vocal arrangements, and incidental music by Ron Melrose — is the show’s saving grace. Here, the soft-rock melodies sometimes roll over into hip-hop, but the score still snaps, crackles and pops. The cast is in great voice, from the charming Nikki M. James as Dorothy right on down to the lowliest Winkie. James really delivers throughout the show, and her singing of the finale, “Home,” deservedly brings down the house. Valarie Pettiford’s Glinda is a vision of a Follies Bergere showgirl, and she makes “If You Believe” into a true power ballad. Heather Lee milks all the comedy from her brief role of Addaperle, the inept witch with ADD. On the male side of the equation, Tituss Burgess is a crowd pleaser as the cowardly, sissified Lion, and he and James have the right chemistry to sell “Be a Lion.” David Alan Grier’s Wiz is better in his quieter moments than his louder ones, while Rashad Naylor’s Scarecrow and Michael Benjamin Washington’s Tinman don’t make much of an impression.

For all its 21st-century innovation, the original production’s swirling black drape of a tornado had more theatricality than anything on display in this new version, which looks like it consists of bits and pieces of other Broadway shows. The swirling cows, pigs, and grass during the tornado recall The Lion King, and the Munchkin trios — each a human with two puppets at his or her side — remind one of the cheerleaders in The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas. The cast often eases on down the road that extends into the audience on ramps and platforms, as in Harold Prince’s revisionist staging of Candide — although here, at least, the audience can watch the action on big-screen monitors above the playing area when sight lines are an issue.

Add some Cirque du Soleil-like aerialists, a break-dancing, roller-skating Toto (Albert Blaise Cattafi), and an over-amplified Evillene (E. Faye Butler) who wears out her welcome long before her first real scene. What we have here is a mess of a show trying to pass as a hopped-up rock concert. This Dorothy would have been better off getting into that storm cellar with Aunt Em and Uncle Henry rather than venturing into McAnuff’s strange new world.