L. Frank Baum’s book, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz was first published in 1900. The Wiz is a musical with a book by William F. Brown, and music and lyrics by Charlie Smalls was presented at Cremorne Theatre, QPAC by performers from the Aboriginal Centre for Performing Arts (ACPA).
This fun filled performance has been adapted for Australian audiences with windy Kansas being replaced tropical Cairns which we know is cyclone prone. I can also identify with the propped up wooden, country clothes line, having had one. The humble, homely opening scene was soon replaced by Dorothy’s trip into the fantastical.
Serina O’Connor starred as Dorothy. Serina seemed like a little girl with a tremendous capacity to tirelessly carry an enormous work load. A task which was well accomplished. The central trio of the Scarecrow (Selwyn Powers), Tin Man (Gara Doolah) and Lion (Garret Lyon) could not have been more cleverly or suitably cast.
Suave in fine, fur coat with his much loved mane of golden dreadlocks, Lion was wonderfully more camp than cowardly. Garret Lyon owned this role with terrific results. Tin Man looked up to the minute in sneakers, denim jacket and jeans sprayed just the right shade of silver. Scarecrow was a delight in that suit of big, blue checks. Selwyn Powers showed he is a born dancer as he episodically broke out in some seriously, groovy moves.
Director and choreographer, Simon Lind did a great job with his talented team of modern dancers in bright costumes. That intoxicating poppy scene was especially striking and again, the Lion was great. This was a wonderful production and The Wiz is a fun-filled musical suitable for the whole family.
Cremorne Theatre – QPAC, Cultural Precinct, South Bank (Brisbane)
Performance: Thursday 5 December 2019 – 7.30pm
Season: 5 – 7 December 2019 (closed)
Information and Bookings: www.qpac.com.au
Image: The Wiz – courtesy of QPAC
Review: Michele-Rose Boylan