The Wiz – Musical – 5th Ave Theatre

Elevator Thoughts (aka Tweet): The Wiz musical at the 5th Avenue Theatre. Well-cast Dorothy. Groovy gospel-like tunes. Stunning voices. Elaborate/colorful set, hair, & costumes. Retro vibe. Uncommon stage floorplan often put actors 3 ft away from us at the front row! “Ease on down the road” & buy your tickets to this awesome show! #Oz #WizardofOz #black #POC #BiPOC

Synopsis from the Theatre: Feel the power of love overflowing at this dazzling reimagining of The Wizard of Oz! With a soaring soul, R&B, and gospel score featuring hit songs “Brand New Day,” “Ease on Down the Road,” and “Home,” this fun, fresh 5th Avenue Theatre production is a hit the whole family will enjoy. When Dorothy finds herself in the fantastical world of Oz, she sets out to seek the aid of the mysterious Wiz, forging powerful new friendships with a Scarecrow, a Tinman, and a Lion along her way down the yellow brick road. But when she battles the devious Evillene to save her new friends, she learns that no matter where you’re from, home isn’t really where you live; it’s who you love. Winner of seven Tony Awards including Best Musical, The Wiz is an effervescent explosion of music, dance, magic, and delight. Don’t miss this 5th Avenue Theatre original staging!

Reviewed Performance: 11/27 Evening – Opening Night

Type: Musical

World Premiere: No

Live Band/Orchestra: Yes

Recommendation: See it … period!

Would I See It Again 3 Years from Now?: Absolutely. I wish I had time this holiday season to see it again.

Rating Compared to Other Shows with the Same Production Value:
5 Stars (Out of 5 Stars)

Equity Actors: All of them

Length: 2.25 hours

Intermission: Yes

Other Rave(s) Not Mentioned in Elevator Thoughts

  • Voices: The main characters’ voices were out of this world! There was Shaunyce Omar’s booming voice as the wicked witch of the West. Innocent Dorothy (Kataka Corn) surprised me with her powerful upper register. Be Russel easily handled the vocal range of the Wiz role, which was originally written for a man. Her real life sister (Sarah Russel) and Trina Mills easily wowed the audience with their belt as the witches of the North and South.
  • Stage Floorplan: The mainstage rotates like in Hamilton. There was a thin horizontal catwalk-like portion downstage in front of the orchestra to allow the actors closer access to the audience.
  • Cowardly Lion: Nate Tenenbaum was such a delight with his fierce walk, cat licks, tail twirling, and screams.
  • Toto: Nessa was such a well-trained dog. She “stayed” and sat quietly on-stage while watching the actors reciting their lines. I wish she were in more scenes though.
  • Favorite Lines: There were too many of them. “You’re the best wicked witch killer in this country,” “Girl, I’m gonna wear white to the funeral,” “If you don’t have STP, Crisco will do just fine,” “Owls don’t give answers. They just ask questions. Like Whoo?”
  • Gospel Music: The gospel influence on the musical score was wild! You could hear it in “Brand New Day (Everybody Rejoice),” “Don’t Nobody Bring Me No Bad News,” and “Born On The Day Before Yesterday.”
  • Scenic Design: The set was impressively ostentatious especially the Wiz’s throne room and the Emerald City.
  • Kalidahs: The red eyes reminded me of Cylons from Battlestar Galactica.

Rant(s)

  • Cold: My companion and I were freezing! I ended up wearing my wool top coat and donning my mittens. It shouldn’t be that cold for a show that can cost up to $180 per ticket for premium seats.
  • Set Movement: Minor pet peeve here. There was one scene in the end where the actors had to push two large set pieces towards the back of the stage. It would be less distracting if backstage workers could pull the set pieces so the audience doesn’t see this work.

Other Thought(s)

  • Twister Scene: There was an actress dressed in gold during the twister scene. I think she represented the eye of the twister. If that’s true, she needs to do more twirling to show that she’s the twister. If she wasn’t the twister, let me know in the comments of my social media posts below!
  • Tap Dance: I love watching tap dance in musicals. While I appreciated the tap dances in this show, it was mainly just the tin man performing them solo. I suggest the tap dances be more group than solo.

Theatre Company : 5th Avenue Theatre

Venue: 5th Avenue Theatre

Venue Physical Address: 1308 5th Ave, Seattle, WA 98101

Price: Medium to Expensive to Really Expensive

Dates: November 20 to December 23, 2022

Seating: Assigned

Parking: When I don’t walk to the theatre, I park in the paid garage at the Motif hotel NW of the theatre. The entrance is on 5th Ave. Do NOT park in the Hilton garage (entrance on 6th ave). That’s where most of the audience parks so it’s a nightmare to leave. However, the Hilton garage is the closest garage to the theatre and it has underground access to the theatre if you wanted to avoid the elements. But this benefit is not worth it in my opinion.

Social Media Posts About this Performance from Shows I’ve Seen: Instagram | TikTok | Facebook | Twitter | YouTube

Buy a Ticket or Learn More:

Other Video +/- Pictures: There are pictures under the video below.

@showsiveseen #TheWiz #musical at 5th Avenue #Theatre. Well-cast Dorothy @katakamackenziecorn. #Groovy gospel-like tunes. #Stunning voices. #Elaborate/#colorful set, hair, & costumes. #Retro vibe. Uncommon stage floorplan often put actors 3 ft away from us at the front row! “Ease on down the road” & buy your tickets to this awesome show! Review + Photo Credit: showsiveseen.com/2428 #Oz #WizardofOz #black #POC #BiPOC ♬ A Brand New Day – Shanice Williams & Elijah Kelley & David Alan Grier & Ne-Yo & Original Television Cast of the Wiz LIVE!
Nate Tenenbaum as Lion (foreground) and Phillip Attmore as Tinman and Kataka Corn as Dorothy (background)
Photo Credit: Mark Kitaoka
Kataka Corn (they/them) stars as Dorothy in The Wiz
Photo Credit: Mark Kitaoka
Nehemiah Hooks as Scarecrow, Kataka Corn as Dorothy, and the cast of The Wiz
Photo Credit: Mark Kitaoka
Sarah Russell as Addaperle and the cast of The Wiz
Photo Credit: Tracy Martin
The cast of The Wiz
Photo Credit: Mark Kitaoka
Shauynce Omar as Evillene in The Wiz at The 5th Avenue Theatre
Photo Credit: Mark Kitaoka
Nate Tenenbaum (Lion), Kataka Corn (Dorothy), Be Russell (The Wiz), Nehemiah Hooks (Scarecrow), Phillip Attmore (Tinman) and the cast of The Wiz
Photo Credit: Mark Kitaoka

(Dorothy), Trina Mills (Glinda), and the cast of The Wiz at The 5th Avenue Theatre
Photo Credit: Mark Kitaoka

The Griswold’s Broadway Vacation – Musical – 5th Avenue Theatre

Megan Reinking (Ellen Griswold), Hunter Foster (Clark Griswold), Livvy Marcus (Audrey Griswold), and Nathan Levy (Rusty Griswold). Photo Credit: Tracy Martin.

Elevator Pitch/Thoughts/Tweet: “The Griswold’s Broadway Vacation” mmusical at the 5th Avenue Theatre. Pleasantly surprised it featured Hunter Foster. Fantastic bright sets, props, & costumes. New York tourist trap haven. Easy 1980s sitcom-like conflict resolutions. Basic all-American themes, heart, & family. Loved the hick chic fashion montage. #theatre #NYC #Manhattan

Type: Musical

Recommendation: See it! Even if you didn’t see the movies (I didn’t).

Rating (Out of 5 Stars): 4.5 stars

Other Rants

  • Did a the teacher go on dates with the student back in the day? Weird.
  • A little too all-American. Despite the inclusive casting, the perspective isn’t very accessible to ethnicities. But I guess that’s not the fault of the musical but more the fault of the movie series.
  • Have they not heard of Stub Hub? Major plot hole here!

Other Raves

  • Loved Rusty Griswold’s side quests

Theater Company: The 5th Avenue Theatre

Venue: The 5th Avenue Theatre – 1308 5th Ave, Seattle, WA 98101

Price: $$$$ (Expensive)

Dates: September 13 – October 2, 2022

Seating: Assigned Seating

Social Media: Instagram | TikTok | Facebook | Twitter | YouTube

Linkhttps://www.5thavenue.org/shows/2022-23/the-griswolds-broadway-vacation/

Other Media:

@showsiveseen “The #Griswold‘s #Broadway #Vacation#musical at the 5th Avenue Theatre. Pleasantly surprised it featured #HunterFoster. Fantastic bright sets, props, & costumes. #NewYork #tourist trap haven. Easy 1980s sitcom-like conflict resolutions. Basic all-american themes, heart, & family. Loved the hick chic fashion montage. #theatre #NYC #Manhattan ♬ Welcome To New York – Taylor Swift
Megan Reinking as Ellen Griswold, Livvy Marcus as Audrey Griswold, Jen Cody, Nathan Levy as Rusty Griswold, and Hunter Foster as Clark Griswold. Photo Credit: Tracy Martin.
Hunter Foster as Clark Griswold and Livvy Marcus as Audrey Griswold. Photo Credit: Mark Kitaoka.
Jen Cody as Madame Sherie, Megan Reinking as Ellen Griswold, and Alan H. Green as the Naked Commando. Photo Credit: Tracy Martin.
Jay Klaitz as Cousin Eddie. Photo Credit: Tracy Martin.
Megan Reinking and Hunter Foster star as Ellen and Clark Griswold in the world premiere of The Griswolds’ Broadway Vacation. Photo Credit: Mark Kitaoka.
Alan H. Green (center) as the Naked Commando and the cast of The Griswolds’ Broadway Vacation. Photo Credit: Tracy Martin.

Choir Boy – Musical Play – ACT Theatre

“Choir Boy” musical play at ACT Theatre w/ the 5th Avenue Theatre. Tight accapella harmonies like TAKE 6 or Boyz II Men. The flamboyant gay student’s comebacks were so witty. Loved the shower set design. Wondering what the ending dramatic pause symbolized. #LGBT #boardingSchool #POC #prepSchool #black #theatre

Type: Play with Music

Recommendation: See it!

Rating (Out of 5 Stars): 4 stars

Theater Company: ACT Theatre and 5th Avenue Theatre

Venue: ACT Theatre

Price: $$ (Medium)

Dates: September 11, 2022 – October 23, 2022

Seating: Assigned

Linkhttps://order.acttheatre.org/choir-boy

@showsiveseen#Choir Boy” #musical #play at #ACTTheatre w/ #5thAveTheatre. Tight #accapella harmonies like #Take6 or @boyziimenofficial. The flamboyant #gay student’s comebacks were so witty! Loved the shower set design. Wondering what the ending dramatic pause symbolized. #LGBT #boardingSchool #POC #prepSchool #black #ChoirBoy ♬ original sound – Shows I’ve Seen

Come From Away – Musical – 5th Avenue Theatre

“Come From Away” musical at the 5th Avenue Theatre front row. Impressive cast doubling. So much heart. Amazing to see how human kindness can prevail during tragedy. #Canada #September11 #nineEleven #Newfoundland #Canadian #Canadians
@showsiveseen @wecomefromaway #musical at 5th Avenue Theatre front row. Impressive cast doubling. So much heart. Amazing to see how human #kindness can prevail during tragedy. #September11 #nineEleven #Newfoundland #Canada #Canadian #Canadians @comefromaway #comeFromAway ♬ Welcome To The Rock – Joel Hatch & ‘Come From Away’ Company

The Prom – Musical – 5th Avenue Theatre

Dad escorted me to “The Prom” at The 5th Avenue Theatre on pride night. So many witty quips, Broadway references, & funny caricatures. Loved how the lgbt airtime uniquely focused on a lesbian couple instead of the usual gay men. #musical #energy #Indiana
@showsiveseen Dad escorted me to "The #Prom" at 5th Avenue Theatre on #pride night. So many #witty quips, #Broadway references, & #funny caricatures. Loved how the #lgbt airtime uniquely focused on a #lesbian couple instead of the usual #gay men. #musical #energy #Indiana ♬ SHIMMY SONGTRADR 30 HIT WONDER – Artist manager manager