I can’t even hate.

Last Night, I saw The Wiz at City Center.  Here is my review:

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It was very good.  It was not the best adaptation of the show I have seen, but it was very good.   Initially, I had my doubts about Ashanti in the lead role of Dorothy.  Dorothy has two of the biggest songs of the show, “Be a Lion” and “Home.”  But I am happy to say that Ashanti proved me wrong.  She held her own vocally.  I was very impressed.  Her acting was not bad either.  She is very good at playing a little girl.  Plus she looked beautiful.  I noticed Ashanti’s singing improved with her single “The Way That I Love You” off of her last album, and she has kept it up.  You are winning me back as a fan, Ashanti.

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The rest of the cast was great.  Everyone was on point with their characters and their voices were excellent.  Tichina Arnold (Everybody Hates Chris & Martin) was very impressive.  She is quite the diva with a huge voice.  I hope she gets more chances to show it off.  LaChanze (The Color Purple) is always phenomenal.  Her voice is a powerhouse.  She is a star and I could see her up there with the Broadway legends.

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The entire show had a hood undertone to it.  For example, the ‘yellow brick road’ consisted of people dressed in all black with yellow high-top sneakers on, dancing around the characters.  Addapearle also warned Dorothy to beware of the Poppies because they will make you fall asleep and you will wake up with your clothes ‘out of style’ and your ‘weave messed up’.  It was creative and connected with the audience.  I wished for better choreography in the big dance numbers like “Tornado,” but their rendition was not bad.

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The costumes were hits and misses.  For the most part I was very impressed.  The witches costumes were very good.  The flying-monkeys, munchkins, and poppies were very symbolic and got the point across.  All the costumes we very creative except for Dorothy’s. We first see her in Kansas, in a pair of black and white Chuck Taylor’s, skinny jeans, and a blue-sparkle dress that looks like it was on sale at Conway.  We do have to look at Dorothy for the entire show, I wish they could have put some creativity in her costume.

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This is what I would have loved to see.  I want someone young who is a rising star to play Dorothy.  Ashanti was cool, but I want a young power house to blow the audience away.  Stephanie Mills did that on Broadway in the original production of The Wiz at the young age of 16.  That is why I recommended Tiffany Evans in an earlier post.  Below is a video of the talented Jasmine Sullivan at age 11 singing The Wiz‘s showstopper “Home.”  This is what I’m talking about.

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