by California Youth Conservatory Theatre
The Wiz is a perfect musical for a youth conservatory to perform. Not only does it extol the virtues of being smart, have a heart, being brave, and being loyal to your friends and family, but it also offers very challenging songs for the performers. Dorothy (Candice McLean) suddenly finds herself in the mythical land of OZ. As she journeys to find “The Wiz” she runs into the Scarecrow (Jasmine January), the Lion (Shaun T. Evans) and the Tin Man (Sterling Anthony) who all could use a little help from the great Wizard of OZ. As the Scarecrow, Jasmine January is a fun performer who brings infectious fun and energy to her numbers. Between her and Candice McLean their “Ease on Down the Road” makes you eager to follow these two talented performers. As the Lion, Evans provides some great comedic moments on his own, but when he pairs with McLean on “Be a Lion” the audience is in store for a powerful and moving rendition.
Additional standouts are Shalonda Hunt as Addaperle, the scatterbrained magical performer who can’t pronounce Dorothy correctly and Alexis Blaylock as Auntie EM and Glinda who is the loving reminder that if you believe in yourself you can do anything. A majority of the children in their production run the gamut of characters from munchkins, flying monkeys and Winkies. The children are all ages and their dancing, as well as their performances are charmingly full of life and make you want to visit this land called OZ.
This is a children’s theater that tries to instill in children of all ages the fun and the professionalism of working in the theater. If you like going to the theater then I strongly urge you to get tickets to see The Wiz. This show is a lot of fun; a musical for kids both young and old. Not only will you see great performances, but you will also be supporting the next generation of actors, singers and directors. CYC is an organization that gives serious young actors and singers the training and opportunities that will help them continue their career in theater.
The Wiz is being performed through Sunday, August 20th at the Lyceum Theatre in Horton Plaza. Information on the California Youth Conservatory, show ticket information, photos and videos from their other performances can be found at http://cyctheatre.webs.com.
Performs August 21-29, 2010
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