EMBARGOED FOR FRIDAY, JULY 31, 2020 7:00 PM CST AND SATURDAY AUGUST 1, 2020 2:30 PM CST:
ArtsVision Performing and Visual Arts announces it's 2020 Season.
DALLAS, Texas – July 17, 2020 – ArtsVision Performing and Visual Arts is proud to announce its 2020 season, which includes beloved classic, The Wiz Jr.
Get ready to ease on down the yellow brick road to 90 minutes of fun while learning life lessons in ArtsVision Performing and Visual Arts youth production of "The Wiz Jr."
The 30-member, all-kids cast will open the show July 31 for the first time in its 6 years virtually. It follows the adventures of teenager Dorothy Gale as she tries to find her way home.The story is a retelling of L. Frank Baum's 1900 children's novel "
The Wonderful Wizard of Oz" through a modern African-American perspective."
One of the amazing things about this show is it has so many 1970s elements, yet remains popular today," says artistic and managing director Fran Jeffery-Anderson, referencing the play's 1975 Broadway debut.
It could be because Baum's lesson of looking within to find yourself never goes out of style. It also could be because of the wonderful music, including such hits as "Ease on Down the Road" and "A Brand New Day."
This is the sixth year ArtsVision Performing and Visual Arts has staged a summer youth musical, a trend Jeffery-Anderson plans to continue.
Even though this cast ranges in ages from 7 to 16, these performers go through the same rigorous auditions as adult performers. And rehearsals aren't easy. This gives them a taste of the theater world, and their parents appreciate this. It's rewarding to have a place where children can showcase their talents.
Carrington Black, 14, is playing Dorothy, with Pedro Rodriguez, 16, an aspiring junior at Uplift Peak High School tackling the role of the title character the Wiz.
In the 1978 film "The Wiz," starring Diana Ross and Michael Jackson, the approach was more soulful and slow, you'll find the ArtsVision Performing and Visual Arts presentation more extravagant, and Jeffery-Anderson plays it that way for a purpose.
Ana Astie certainly makes it her own as the wicked witch Evilene. Astie, who will be a 10-year-old 5th grader at The Hockaday School in the fall.
Evilene steals the show at one point with her soulful "No Bad News" solo.
For Black, her role as Dorothy isn't her first time on stage, as she was in ArtsVision Performing and Visual Arts performance of Hairspray Jr. last year.
Though Dorothy's in the spotlight for most of the show, Black's favorite part happens at the end of the first act when the cast sings "We Got It."
The Wiz Jr.ArtsVision Performing and Visual Arts 2020 Season
7p.m. July 31 and 2:30p.m. August 1
$20, $15 students and groups of 10 or more in advance LadyJ@ArtsVisionDFW.org