The "Wiz" opens at Pritzker School on Thursday


This is the WIZ (Jacob Gonzalez) and he is behind the curtain on stage at Pritzker School.


Imagine the Wizard of Oz set in Chicago in the 1970's, the razzy jazzy feeling rumbling through the streets, munchkins dressed as little gangsters, and Dorothy, a lone African-American woman trying to hold onto that one wish of trying to get home. 


Addaperle (Taylor Wilson) amongst the Munchkins

Pritzker School children from all different grades and backgrounds will be showcasing their talent in their annual play. This year's selection is the "The Wiz," based on the 1975 musical and book by the same name. Their version has a Chicago twist to it.   

Jenai Jenkins, who is a musical teacher at the school, said that because the book was set in an urban setting, it was important to bring some aspect of Chicago to it.  She also pointed out that the main backdrop used in the play was made to look like Chicago.  The backdrop was created by art teacher Mindy Schwartz based on drawings, by students, of Chicago landmarks which were then enlarged to fit across the large tarp used for the backdrop. 


Dorothy(Kendra Turner) learns that in the Land of Oz, anything can happen including tornadoes (Brionna Mogelberg).

Approximately 90 to 120 children from kindergarten through the eighth grade will take part in this play, including intermediate and advanced music students from the school.  And for the first time ever, this play will feature live music from Kai Alexander, a local Wicker Park artist.


Cowardly Lion (Emmanuel Terrell), ScareCrow (Brandon Harris) and Tin Man (Israel Terrell) have a meeting.


"The Wiz" is directed by Musical Director Joel Mormon and will take place Thursday and Fri., Mar. 18 and 19 at 7 p.m. and Sat., Mar. 20 at 2 p.m.  General seating tickets are $5.00.  All performances will be held at the A.N. Pritzker Auditorium located at 2009 W. Schiller.


Photos courtesy of: Sierra Campbell and Debbie Roseen 



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