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(Smalls) Mabel King Andre De Shields and Dee Dee Bridgewater.
Top Customer Reviews
was first performed (twice). She has very fond memories
of her nights out. Unfortunately the vinyl album gave
up the ghost some years ago, so I bought this to play
on our Brennen JB7. I got a million "Brownie Points"
for the surprise and for the pleasure we both get from
the Original Cast.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Stephanie Mills (who lated scored a pop hit w/ "Never Knew Love Like This Before") shines as Dorothy. Hinton Battle and Ted Ross are also terrific as the Scarecrow and Lion, respectively.
Best Tracks include:
Tornado (a disco-flavored instrumental)
I Was Born On The Day Before Yesterday
Ease On Down The Road (the show's primary hit)
I'm A Mean Ole Lion
Compared to the motion picture soundtrack, this is a collection of mostly mellow, laidback tunes with a lot of heart and even more soul. It does however, have its fun moments. The tornado is one such example, providing glimpses back into the prospering 70s disco scene. Any song by Andre de Shields, as the Wiz, is guaranteed to make you shake your groove thing, and the character roles (Scarecrow, Tinman, Lion) are filled with fine performances from Hinton Battle, Tiger Haynes, and Ted Ross, respectively.
Standouts include: all of Stephanie Mills's features; she puts so much feeling into her songs, Mabel King's anthem to No Bad News, Dorothy and the Lion's duet, Be a Lion, the funky Ease on Down the Road, and the unforgettable finale. At only 12 or 13, Stephanie Mills accomplished so much with her performance in The Wiz.
This is an excellent CD, and while missing a few songs, stays true to the original Broadway play. If rumors are to be believed, then a revival may be on its way. I only hope it can live up to this musical masterpiece.
Stephanie Mills adds lots of lush, glossy vocals to her role of Dorothy; especially in the moving finale "Home" (which became Mills' theme song during the ensuing years). Mills also scores with "Soon As I Get Home", and "Be a Lion".
Playing Dorothy's misfit band of friends down the Yellow Brick Road are the superbly talented Hinton Battle as the Scarecrow, Ted Ross as the Cowardly Lion, and Tiger Haynes as the Tin Man.
Dee Dee Bridgewater plays the good witch Glinda, and her "If You Believe" is truly inspirational. Mabel King plays Evillene, the wicked witch, and she brings a soulful and sassy edge to her big number "Don't Nobody Bring Me No Bad News". Andre de Shields plays The Wiz himself.
This crisp recording is a great reminder of this truly classic Broadway production, which won seven Tony Awards (including Best Musical), and went on to run for over 700 performances.
You'll find yourself hitting the 'repeat' button for Stephanie Mills' "Home", and it will definitely stay on high-rotation in your CD player! A must for all Broadway fans.