George Faison, internationally celebrated producer, writer, composer, director, choreographer and dancer, made history in 1975 when he became the first African American to win a Tony Award for Best Choreography for The Wiz. In honor of the Broadway hit’s 40th anniversary, SummerStage and Faison presented three evening performances of original songs and dances from the show.
A number of members of the original Broadway cast returned for this celebratory run. Actress Phylicia Rashad, a munchkin and swing in the original production, co-hosted the performance with George Faison. André De Shields reprised his original role as the Wiz; Dee Dee Bridgewater, Tony Award winner for her role as Glinda reprised this original role; and Ebony Jo-Ann, who played Addaperle in the Broadway revival of the production reprised her role as well. Another returning cast member, Garry Q. Lewis, joined to play the Scarecrow. Damien L. Sneed acted as the musical director and conductor of The Wiz: A Celebration in Dance and Music.