The Wiz | Burning Coal Theatre at the Murphey School | Stage | Indy Week

Stage

The Wiz

When: Dec. 3-20, 7:30 p.m. 2015

THE WIZ

MURPHEY SCHOOL AUDITORIUM, RALEIGH

THURSDAY, DEC. 3–SUNDAY, DEC. 20

One reason we were so perplexed by Jerome Davis' derisive Facebook comment about Middle Eastern culture (see story, p. 36) was that Burning Coal Theatre Company, which he directs, has a strong record of producing geopolitically wide-ranging and progressive works focused on nonwhite people. (Last year, for instance, the Raleigh company's decision to bring in a Palestinian director made for a controversial staging of The Diary of Anne Frank.) Keeping with its drive for cultural diversity in a theater region where black voices are still lamentably outnumbered, Burning Coal mounts a holiday run of The Wiz, Charlie Smalls and William F. Brown's 1974 inner-city revision of L. Frank Baum's The Wonderful Wizard of Oz and the MGM film classic that followed. You at least know it from the 1978 film version (by Sidney Lumet!), with a cast including Diana Ross, Michael Jackson and Richard Pryor and an Oz redolent of ground-down '70s New York City. This pop-soul powerhouse eases on down the road until Dec. 20, with Carly Jones as Dorothy, in a production directed by Randolph Curtis Rand. 7:30 p.m. Thurs.Sat.; 2 p.m. Sat. and Sun., $5$25, 224 Polk St., Raleigh, 919-834-4001,

www.burningcoal.org. —Brian Howe

Price: $5-$25

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