The Wiz (La Jolla)
(Dance Music Arranger/Ableton Live Programmer)
Des McAnuff staged the "re-imagining" of the musical — with Charlie Smalls' score and William F. Brown's book — that began previews Sept. 26 and opened Oct. 11 at the California company's Mandell Weiss Theatre for a run originally scheduled through Nov. 12. The show's run was then extended by two weeks.
Kenny Seymour served as co-dance arrangemener along side music director Ron Melrose, as well as program the ableton live rig for this production
"Our production will reflect the shifts that have occurred in the dominant pop culture, in both music and theatre, since The Wiz's history-making Broadway debut in the 1970s," director McAnuff previously explained about the new take. "This is modern Oz, with a modern look and modern sounds. It is a privilege working with such an esteemed company of actors as we head together into this great adventure. This promises to be an exciting ride for all of us!" McAnuff worked with Harold Wheeler, who orchestrated the original Broadway production of The Wiz, to give this version a more contemporary sound. An environmental set by Robert Brill was also part of the show's new concept, which includes a dancer (Albert Blaise) rather than a dog in the role of Dorothy's beloved Toto.