Ease on Down the Road to See 'The Wiz' on Saturday

Musical based on "The Wizard of Oz" to be performed at Southampton Intermediate School auditorium.

More than a year of behind-the-scenes work will culminate Saturday in Southampton Village as Leap of Faith Ministries and Hamptons Foundation for the Arts put on a performance of the Tony Award-winning musical "The Wiz."

The musical takes a different tack at the telling of "The Wonderful Wizard of Oz" by L. Frank Baum. It debuted to much acclaim on Broadway in 1975 before being adapted into a film starring Michael Jackson and Diana Ross.

Nyeshia Padmore — who belongs to Dance Theatre Harlem, acted in the Harlem School of the Arts production of “MacBeth” and sang at McDonald’s Gospelfest — stars as Dorothy. “This will be the perfect opportunity to fuse all those things I learned and showcase my ability,” Padmore said.

Southampton Village resident , who started Hamptons Foundation for the Arts with the aim of bringing traditionally African-American musicals to the East End, plays the Scarecrow.

Pettaway said Thursday to expect an energetic and breathtaking show. When the audience hears Padmore sing, they'll think they are on Broadway, he said.

"Everyone knows the story of 'The Wiz,'" he added. "It's very iconic."

Rounding out the main cast are Justin Steele as Tinman, Jamaal Brown as the Lion, Sharon Napier as Evillene, Shalijis Martinez as Addapearle, Sheree M.C. Elder as Aunt Em/Glinda and Sam Johnson as The Wiz.

Martinez's Addapearle is jazzy and exciting, and Steele's Tinman is soulful, Pettaway said.

Pettaway went on to say that Brown makes as excellent Lion and Johnson and Napier give comedic performances that will have audience members on the floor laughing.

The ensemble cast includes Tonoa Pender, Amore C., Pit Singers, Pamela West, and Cheryl Buck.

Vladamire Narcisse is on piano, and serves as musical director. Leslie Duroseau, the pastor of , directs and choreographs.

Backstage, Eddie Duroseau is responsible for lighting design, and Jackie Lamb is sound technician. Kyla Church and Caitlyn Pressley are stage hands.

Pettaway said his goal is to put on another performance of "The Wiz" on the East End before the end of the year, and to take it around the Tri-State area.

The show begins at 7:30 p.m. Saturday at the General admission is $15, and for children 10 and younger tickets are just $5. Tickets are available at the door or in advance by contacting 631-259-3838 or hampto­nsfoundatio­nforthearts@­aol.­com.

Following the performance, there will be an after party with free admission and a cash bar at 230 Down at , with DJ Rah-G-Raj.


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