Billed as “The Super Soul Musical”, “The Wiz” won a Tony® Award for Best Musical after it opened at the Majestic Theatre on Broadway in 1975. The Wiz was heralded as a groundbreaking theatrical event because it was a large-scale, big-budget-musical featuring an all-African American cast. Most recently, The Wiz Live! was featured on NBC in December of 2015, nevertheless, beginning on March 23, “The Wiz” will ease on down to Jacksonville with its debut at the Alhambra Theatre & Dining featuring a big cast, big costumes and a big set.
The Wiz features music and lyrics by Charlie Smalls and book by William F. Brown is an urbanized retelling of L. Frank Baum’s classic 1900 children’s novel The Wonderful Wizard of Oz in the context of modern African-American culture. A big-budget film adaptation of the same name was released in 1978 featuring Michael Jackson, Diana Ross, Lena Horne and Richard Pryor, and has since become a cult classic.
“When we had the opportunity to do this show, we couldn’t pass it up,” said Alhambra Managing Partner, Craig Smith. “It has everything a great show should have: incredible music, fantastic dancing, great sets and costumes and a winning history. Everyone knows the Wizard of Oz story, and this is such a great retelling of that novel. Plus, the cast is amazingly talented and the menu Chef Roy put together is a great fit.”
The Jacksonville presentation have a stunning cast featuring a few local talents whom you may know and have seen around town in other theatre presentations. Starring in the role of the Wiz & Uncle Henry will be Stage Aurora’s owner, Darryl Reuben Hall; The character of Addaperle will be played by songstress Akia Uwanda; Yes, Cherry Hamlin is back at the Alhambra as Aunt Em / Glinda. As you might recall, she was seen here as Celie in Alhambra’s The Color Purple; James Web, recently appearing as Jim in the Alhambra production of “Big River” will be the Tinman in The Wiz; and Jereme Raicket (formally with Boleros), will show-up in The Wiz as Royal Gate Keeper / Underling. There are many other local artists who will be mentioned later in the review.
About the Menu: Executive Chef DeJuan Roy changes the menu for each Alhambra show, matching the show’s themes. For The Wiz, Chef Roy has prepared the following menu:
The first course features a choice between a pimento cheese plate with spicy pickles and butter crackers or fried green tomatoes with crumbled goat cheese, tomato, cilantro and smoked Datil pepper ranch dressing.
The second course features crispy snapper with coconut jasmine rice, field peas and fresh tomato salsa, or braised boneless beef short-ribs with southern-style potato salad and shaved Brussels sprouts, or spicy shrimp and grits with smoked sausage and sweet peas, or wild mushroom, artichoke and tomato faro with vegetable broth.
The third course features purple sweet potato pie with candied pecans and whipped cream or an “Emerald Green” Pistachio Cake.
Presented by WJCT, Fleet Landing,
Kilwins & JAX and the Beaches
DATES: March 23 – April 24, 2016SHOW TIMES: 8 p.m. for evening shows Tuesday through Sunday. Doors open at 5:45 p.m., and dinner will be served until 7:30 p.m. Matinees on Saturdays are at 1:15 p.m. Doors open at 11 a.m. and the brunch starts at 11:15 a.m. Sunday Matinees are at 2 p.m. Doors open at noon and the meal starts at 12:15 p.m.
DRESS: “Gala Night” (Friday March 25, 2016) attire is “Formal/Dressy”. All other shows could be “Business Casual” or “Sunday Best”
TICKETS: Regular tickets priced from $35 – $59. Ticket prices include: a plated dinner served to your table, an incredible show and prime parking. Group sales of 20 + are available upon request. Price does not include gratuity or orders from the bar.
LOCATION: Alhambra Theater & Dining
12000 Beach Blvd.
Jacksonville, Florida 32246