It all started on a biting cold Arlington February day. On this day, scores of students waited their turn to audition for Wakefield High School’s biggest show of the year, the spring musical. This year, the musical chosen by drama teacher/director Christopher Gillespie, is the popular 1975 musical “The Wiz.” With its hip-hop music, The Wiz is a perfect fit for a school as racially and culturally diverse as Wakefield.
The past years’ musicals, “Guys and Dolls” in 2005 and “Runaways” in 2004, were so successful for Wakefield that this year the school has the budget to go all-out for the technical aspects of “The Wiz.” Within a week of the cast list being posted, a team of students had already begun work on the set for Munchkinland and the gate to the Emerald City.
Not only a technical wonder, the musical promises to bring even more electricity to the stage with the addition to the cast of trick skateboarders, black belt martial artists, and students who are expert in such intense modern dance forms as pop lock, hip hop and breakdance. Several “Quadlings,” Supremes-style backup singers, have also been included in the cast to give the show a bit more of the original’s Motown sound in order to keep this production true to its roots.
All in all, Wakefield High School’s production of The Wiz is going to be a wild, crazy explosion of a show. So, “come on and ease on down the road” and join the Wakefield Drama Department on its trip through Oz to see The Wiz.