A glorious production of the Broadway classic “The Wiz” graced the stage at Marcus Garvey Park as part of the Summerstage 30th anniversary season. Choreographed by Tony Award winner George Faison, with musical direction by Damien L. Sneed, the production featured Tony Award winner (and Munchkin from the original Broadway run) Phylicia Rashad as co-host/emcee; Andre De Shields, reprising his role as the Wiz; Ebony Jo-Ann in the role of Addaperle; singer-songwriter Wallace Gary as the Scarecrow; and Inaya Day as Dorothy.
producer, writer, composer, director, choreographer and dancer George Faison made history in 1975, when he became the first African-American to win a Tony Award for Best Choreography for “The Wiz.” In honor of the Broadway hit’s 40th anniversary this year, Faison will present performances of original songs and dances from the show.
Faison also heads the Faison Firehouse Theater in Central Harlem, which he founded in 2000, along with Tad Schnugg. The Firehouse is a technologically advanced theater where Faison develops digital applications for the performing arts, as well as original theater pieces. The 130-seat theater, branded “Hollywood of Harlem” by the media, is a full-service performing arts and cultural center, with fine arts galleries, rehearsal facilities and a cabaret theater.