The Wiz: By The Numbers And Behind The Scenes

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All photos by Elaine Liner
Bone chandeliers are just some of the cool things you'll whiz past at The Wiz.

Some stats you should know before you ease on down the road to the Wyly Theatre for Dallas Theater Center's musical The Wiz, opening 8 p.m., Friday, July 8, in a pay-what-you-can preview, before the official opening night on July 15.

0: Price of the pre-show block party, from 5 to 8 p.m. Friday, July 8, in front of the Wyly Theatre, featuring live disco music by Le Freak in Strauss Square, gourmet food trucks on Flora Street and backstage tours of the Winspear Opera House.

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Follow the yellow brick road to the Wyly.
1: Penny or dollar, whatever you want to pay for Friday's pay-what-you-can preview performance. Tickets are available on a first-come, first-served basis and seating is limited, so get there early. For this one-time special event, the Wyly Theatre box office will open at 5 p.m. for ticket purchases.

4: Totos fired after Toto Numero Uno lunged at, bit or nipped (reports vary) the actress playing Dorothy at a dress rehearsal. The Wiz is now dog-free.

7: Principal cast members: Trisha Jeffrey as Dorothy, Liz Mikel as Evillene, Denise Lee as Aunt Em/Glenda, James Tyrone Lane as Scarecrow, Sydney James Harcourt as Tinman, David Ryan Smith as Lion and Hassan El-Amin as the Wizard of Oz.

12: Dallas Black Dance Theatre dancers in the cast. Choreography is by Christopher Lance Huggins. The Wiz is directed by DTC Artistic Director Kevin Moriarty.

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Jo Winiarski designed the scenery for The Wiz.
12: Moving seat pods that zoom audience members around the floor of the Wyly Theatre, starting in the tornado scene at the top of the show. Each pod weighs 1200 pounds empty (up to 4000 pounds occupied) and is mounted on swivel-casters.

15: Audience members per pod.

17: Times the pods are moved by the "pod squad" of stagehands during the show.

25: Width in feet of the giant bat wings that drop down over the set.

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Moveable pods will transport audience members around the Wyly during the show.
80: Dollars -- top ticket price for a seat in one of the movable pods. All kids' tickets are $15 each with purchase of an adult ticket at full price.

90: Minutes the show runs. No intermish, so be sure to whiz before The Wiz.

The Wiz runs through August 17 at the Wyly Theatre, 2400 Flora Street. Tickets are $15 to $80. Call 214-880-0202.

Location Info


Wyly Theatre

2400 Flora St., Dallas, TX

Category: General

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I attended a preview performance of the WIZ on Tuesday night...I so wanted to give it a glowing review but came away totally frustrated. The acting, singing and dancing were superb, at least from what I could see, which unfortunately wasn't much.  My seat was smack dab in the middle of the theater on the first floor.  My seat was stationary, situated in the second section behind the audience pods that move.  During most of the production I was craning my neck back and forth in an effort to see the action, which takes place way down on the floor of the theater. I noticed other audience members doing the same. The fixed seats are only slightly raked, making it near impossible to see the action over the occupied seats between you and the stage floor.  The munchkins became floating heads, and the rest of the cast mere torsos.  With dance such a major part of the production, the inability to see the dancers' feet simply added to the frustration.  If you plan to attend the show be sure to request a seat in one of the moving pods where you are literally part of the action or in one of the balconies.  I for one came away very disappointed having felt I missed what I think was a very good production.

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