[DVD] Movie Review – The Wiz

I had no idea this movie even existed until I watched it in a music appreciation class (that class taught me a lot about musicals). This is a true musical as there is very little speaking and lots of singing.

Starring Diana Ross, Michael Jackson, Richard Pryor, and Lena Horne, this movie features a nearly all people of color cast and has an urban setting with lots of R&B, soul, hip hop, and wonderful music of the late 70s. Ease on Down the Road is the counterpart to Follow the Yellow Brick Road, and is quite lovely by itself.

I also appreciate one of the ending celebratory songs Everybody Rejoice / Brand New Day after the Wicked Witch’s demise. Some other differences from the original include the scarecrow being stuffed with garbage, the tin man is part of a carnival sideshow, and the lion is a library lion.

It’s a wonderful, updated, take on The Wizard of Oz with some awesome performers and some original storyline deviations. Lena Horne is perfect as Glinda, and Richard Pryor makes a very good wizard. I leave you now with one of my favorite songs from the movie.

 

Get it on Amazon

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