Columbia College Chicago Musical Theatre Alumni and Students Ease on Down the Road in ‘The Wiz’ March 5-April 16

T.J. Crawford

De’Jah Perkins

Darren Patin

Kokandy Productions‘ new staging of the hit musical The Wiz — running March 5-April 16 at Theater Wit, 1229 W. Belmont, Chicago — boasts the talents of Columbia College Chicago Theatre Department alumni and student performers. The ensemble includes alumnus T.J. Crawford ’12, a graduate of the Theatre Department’s BA Program in Musical Theatre, as well as Michael Rawls and De’Jah Perkins, both students in the Theatre Department’s BA Program in Musical Theatre. Crawford is understudying the title role of The Wiz, and Perkins is understudying the roles of Evillene and Aunt Em. Darren Patin, a senior in the Theatre Department’s Musical Theatre Performance BFA Program, is the production’s male swing.

With a score steeped in funk, soul, gospel, and rock, The Wiz — which premiered on Broadway in 1975 — is an urbanized retelling of L. Frank Baum’s classic 1900 children’s novel The Wonderful Wizard of Oz and its 1939 film version The Wizard of Oz. Kokandy’s gritty revival resonates more deeply than ever in 2016’s climate of racial and social unrest in America, exploring what it means to live with intelligence, compassion, and courage in today’s tough cities.

For tickets, call 773-975-8150 or click here.

Joanie Schultz (Photo: Joe Mazza)