Shaker Junior High School’s Music Department recently staged several performances of the musical “The Wiz” in March. This year’s production featured a cast of 70 student performers, and was supported by 16 crew members and 12 teachers working behind the scenes. It was co-directed by music teacher Dmitri Vasilakis and English teacher Christina Froehlich. Click here to view more pictures.
“The Wiz” debuted on Broadway in 1974 and became a smash hit winning 7 Tony Awards, including Best Musical. This modern-day adaptation of L. Frank Baum’s The Wonderful Wizard of Oz follows Dorothy’s adventures through the Land of Oz with other familiar characters including the Scarecrow, Tin Man, Cowardly Lion, and the Wicked Witch of the West. “The Wiz” fuses such musical genres as rock, gospel, and R&B.
Vasilakis said the selection process for the junior high school’s annual musical typically begins in September. “We watch for special tie-ins with the shows we present,” he said. “Last year’s production of Disney’s High School Musical, for example, was performed on the 10th anniversary of the movie musical; and in December, NBC aired its history-making live television performance, “The Wiz LIVE!”