The Wiz, Birmingham Rep @ The Alexandra Theatre
I HAVE to say that I didn’t know much about this musical, which puts a new twist on The Wizard of Oz.
Debuting in 1977, it reimagined the popular story with an all-black cast and all-new musical numbers.
This time Dorothy (a likeable Treyc Cohen, who you may remember from last year’s X Factor) is a Brummie girl. When the tornado whisks her off to Oz, we see the Bullring’s Bull and other local landmarks caught up in the gusts.
The ruby slippers are now silver shoes, the Emerald City is a night-club style fortress and the Wicked Witch meets a slightly different end.
While the big numbers aren’t anywhere near as famous as those in The Wizard of Oz, they certainly have more energy.
And the main players are ably assisted by a “community cast”, which includes Solihull’s own Sophie Poulton.
People might say, as they said back in ‘77, that you shouldn’t ever mess with a classic. But for my money this gives a welcome shot-in-the-arm to a story we’ve probably got all-too familiar with.