The Wiz Comes to the Maltz

Maltz-Jupiter Theatre goers are in for a multi-dimensional treat later this month with the theater’s new production of ‘The Wiz” which runs from Jan 13 to Feb 1.

Under the direction of the theater’s own award-winning Producing Artistic Director, Andrew Kato, this 1974 re-telling of the original 1900 book, “The Wonderful Wizard of Oz,” by L. Frank Baum, promises to keep feet tapping and eyes popping from start to finish.

South Florida Gay News was able to catch up with Kato and the show’s choreographer, Jennifer Werner who most recently was associate director of the Tony Award winning “The Book of Mormon.”

“This is a magical production,” Kato said. “We’re using new technologies and tools so the magic of the musical is integrated into the production, not added on.” The magic includes a tornado center stage, flying puppets, a lot of video projection, fantastic music and a powerful cast.

“One of the things your readers might find interesting is that neither Jennifer nor I have ever seen the play or the movie from the mid-‘70s,” Kato said. “So this will be a brand new interpretation based solely on the creators’ original stage directions.”

A sort of looking at 20th century society through 21st century eyes, which raises the question, how does this production deal with the race issues currently on our national front burner?

“The play deals with universal issues of love, friendship, home – basically self-actualization,” Werner said. “It speaks to all marginalized groups and encourages people to believe in themselves.”

“”The Wiz” opened in 1974 in Baltimore, MD and moved to Broadway in 1975. Music and lyrics are by Charlie Smalls and the book by William F. Brown. A film adaptation was released in 1978.

Ticket start at $54. Special pricing is available for The Annual LGBT Pride Night (see side bar). For more information contact the box office at 561-575-2223 or visit www.JupiterTheatre.org. Group sales available by calling 561-972-6117.

Annual LGBT Pride Night at Maltz-Jupiter Theatre

By Donald Cavanaugh

On Saturday, Jan 31, the Maltz-Jupiter Theatre will hold its sixth annual Gay Pride Night with pre-theater Hors d’oeuvres in the lobby at 7 p.m., followed by a performance on stage of “The Wiz” at 8 p.m.

After the show, Pride Night attendees are invited to join the cast in the Conservatory for a dessert meet-and-greet.

Pride Night is sponsored by Morgan Stanley and supported by South Florida Gay News, 900AM The Talk of the Palm Beaches, Compass and Kilwin’s of Jupiter.

“Morgan Stanley is very aware of the particular needs that same sex couples may have when doing their financial planning and we want to reach out to them and let them know we’re here,” said Kristen Sario, vice president and branch manager at the Palm Beach Gardens Morgan Stanley Wealth Management office. “We felt the annual Pride Nights at the Maltz would be a great place to start.”

“We’re always pleased to support the annual Pride Night events,” said South Florida Gay News executive editor, Jason Parsley. “We want to inform our readership about all opportunities available in South Florida and this is definitely a wonderful chance to experience great theater in the northern part of our territory.”

Pride Night tickets are $39 and are available at the box office at (561) 575-2223. You must remember to mention the password: PRISM.


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