Mount Vernon Take a look through your emerald colored glasses and see a parade of mischievous munchkins, some soulful singing, and a truly heart-filled production of “The Wiz” by Mount Vernon High School.
This high-energy exceptionally amusing show first struck the stage in Baltimore on Oct. 21, 1974. It was soon after introduced to Broadway, where it won seven Tony Awards, including best musical. “The Wiz” was destined for success, with music and lyrics by Charlie Smalls and book by William F. Brown. It’s a remixed version of the classic tale of sweet little Dorothy and her dog Toto swept into the mystical Land of Oz, accentuated with powerful vocal riffs and much more attitude.
Headlining this dedicated cast was Courtney Kramer in the role of Dorothy. She was adorable to watch on stage and adequately carried the role. Each actor in the foursome of friends easing their way down the road to Oz had strengths and weaknesses, but brought different talents to the table. The Lion (Justin Atkinson) was easily a crowd favorite with his comedic delivery of lines and the immense personality he brought to the role. The Tin Man (Logan Beveridge) showed strength in dancing as he was featured with a tap solo in his song “Slide Some Oil to Me.” Lastly the Scarecrow deserves high praise for his utter commitment and effective stage presence. He proved to not only be vocally skilled but also developed a strong character, including the way he walked and moved about the stage.
The tech elements of this show were decent. The lighting was well executed, specifically the angelic green lights of Oz. The sound had a few issues, but the actors were able to overcome them. The pit band was extremely small, but also very talented. They never had any problems and balanced well with the actors, never overshadowing them.
The best aspect of this show, overall was that it was clear the actors were having fun on stage. Despite a low budget and other limitations, the cast prevailed to put on an entertaining show.