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CedarBridge’s The Wiz premieres tonight

The Tin Man, the Cowardly Lion and the Scarecrow: part of the cast of CedarBridge Academy’s production of The Wiz, an adaptation of The Wizard of Oz

Pupils at CedarBridge Academy will follow the yellow brick road into the limelight tonight for their production of the hit musical The Wiz.

The show — to be performed at the Ruth Seaton James Auditorium for the Performing Arts tonight and tomorrow night — is a retelling of the classic Wizard of Oz story with an infusion of African-American culture and music.

Wanda Maxwell, the choreographer, said The Wiz was one of her all-time favourite shows and she was thrilled to be able to help bring it to the Bermuda stage.

The original show won several Tony Awards when it debuted in 1975 and inspired a film that starred Diana Ross, Michael Jackson, Nipsey Russell and Richard Pryor.

Ms Maxwell said she watches the movie at Christmastime and that it resonates, because “it’s the story about how Dorothy meets people she doesn’t know, she learns their strengths and what they are lacking, and these are things that are lacking in everyone”.

Ms Maxwell added that her experience with the show made the task easier, and the pupils were able to learn the steps quickly — even those who had never tried dancing before.

She said: “Every week, we had a dance done. They picked it up very well, and I only had to clean a little bit.

“Some of the children were very shy and didn’t know what to do, but once they got used to it and they started to dance they really liked it.

“The experience has really encouraged them to try something they hadn’t done before. They’re coming out of their shells, and I could not be more proud of them.”

Ms Maxwell urged the public to come out, not only to support the pupils but to enjoy a great night of family entertainment.

She said: “Those who come to see The Wiz are going to have a wonderful time, they are going to enjoy it and see it in a way you haven’t before.

“It’s a wonderful show, it’s a family show. The music is great, the dancing is great, the acting is nice. I think everyone should come out and have a great night.”

The Wiz will start at 7.30pm both days. Tickets cost $20, with $50 patron tickets also available. For more information or tickets, e-mail dbutterfield@cedarbridge.doe.bm or call 278-1534.