See This: The Wiz

Ease on down…. Ease on down the road…  Oh yeah, I’m still buzzing — and singing — after Vivo D’Arte’s production of full-on, high-energy production of The Wiz last night.

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You’ve not got long to catch it — it’s only on this week at the Watford Palace theatre — but there are still some tickets left and it would be a fabulous last-minute treat.  And it’s definitely one for all the family.  The audience when we were there ranged from about 5 or so up to… well… just up.  And everyone seemed to love it.  The whoopin’ and hollerin’ at the end was brilliant.  Seriously, though.  Get tickets.

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Vivo D’Arte is an amazing company, working with theatre arts students or recent graduates — as well as local youngsters — and staging some stunning productions.  They’ve assembled all sorts of young, energetic talent, and I had that “I be seeing you in the West End one day” feeling when several of the cast belted out their numbers with strength, passion and proper class last night.

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We loved the main foursome — at one point, my daughter was convulsed with laughter at the sheer joy of the relationship between the Scarecrow and ‘Tinny,’ which was a true delight.  The witches were gorgeous — the cooky-ness of Addaperle, the icy elegance of Glinda, and the straight-up glorious wickedness of Evillene.

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Photo: Amy Dunstall

The staging was clever and engaging — almost empty stages, suddenly filled with Munchkins (oh, they were so cute), platforms wheeled on and off, the great big mask of OZ with lit-up eyes and a moving mouth, and great use of projection too.  And the costumes.  Crikey Moses.  They were phenomenal, particularly the Lion — loved his mane.

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Both me and my youngest were blown away (geddit?) by the singing and dancing.  Some great individual performances, dancing-wise, but it was the group numbers that really shone.  It’s not a massive stage at the Watford Palace, and they filled it with life and energy and talent to bursting.

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Seriously.  You don’t want to miss it.  It’s a great family night out, a proper blast of rarely-performed musical theatre, and a reminder of the talent and energy that’s out there waiting to be discovered.  Get your tickets.  You’ll love it.

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Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to get back to my singing…

Ease on down… Ease on down the rooooad….  Oh yeah!   Ease on down…

vivodarte.co.uk

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