Ease on Down

I am so pleased with myself for booking tickets to the closing afternoon performance of The Wiz this coming Sunday -- my first foray to Stumptown Stages. I've regretted out loud before about missing far too many of the season's earlier theater hits -- including Third Rail's Dead Funny, Coho's The Receptionist, and Profile's Biloxi Blues.

So it's time to return to my roots, and I could use a break from the administrative side of the arts for a moment. I'm absolutely committed to going out and seeing mucho theater in March, although I confess that the bulk of my interest lies with PCS's one-two-three punch of How to Disappear... (which everyone is saying great things about), The Importance of Being Earnest, and Storm Large's Crazy Enough.

But first up: The Wiz. Because it's about to close. Because I love some of the songs (including Dorothy's finale, "Home," and also "Can You Feel A Brand New Day," which our colleague shobiz included in his version of this blog's election soundtrack last fall). Because I'm a fan of Kirk Mouser, who you may or may not know has been actively involved in a variety of artistic endeavors beyond theater lately, including heading up the public art panel for the new Gresham Arts Center and serving a most helpful stint at The Oregon Cultural Trust when the Trust Manager resigned. And because...

In 1987 I had the truly unique pleasure of playing the Tin Man in Aloha High School's all-white production of The Wiz.

No, seriously. "Slide some oil to me, brother."


MightyToyCannon said...

I dare you to wear that Tin Man outfit to your next meeting about the city budget.

shobiz said...

Excellent! Did I know this about you? Funnily enough, the production of "The Wiz" that I worked on as a stage hand was also put on in 1987. (My biggest moment was working the fog machine for the melting of Eveline.)

A few weeks ago, ABC aired a program called "Drama High: The Making Of A High School Musical," in which they followed a Virginia high school drama program's nearly all-white production of "The Wiz." It was quite touching, and, for me, nostalgic. I was amazed at how little difference there was between the kids in my own drama club in Colorado back in the 80's and this one 20 years later in a different part of the country. It's reassuring, somehow, to know that there are still kids going through high school theatre programs like mine. But of course there are so many schools without those programs, which is all the more upsetting when you see the positive effect it has on the students in the ABC piece.

I couldn't find a site where one might watch it in its entirety, but the official ABC site has a page that contains some clips. They tried their best to make it a seem like sleazy reality show material, but these kids are too sincere and real to be "reality."

culturejock said...

And here I thought we were the only school to attempt such a thing! Thank you for the additional information (and company!), shobiz. I bet you were a good fogmaster. And no, MTC, I won't be wearing anything metallic to any budget meetings thankyouverymuch. ;)

I hadn't heard about DRAMA HIGH but now I want to see it!