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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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…