The Wiz

July 5, 2011 10:05:04 AM PDT
Chicago-Native Felicia Fields leads the cast of THE WIZ as "Evillene" at Theatre at the Center in Munster, Indiana. The show opens doesn't open until Sunday, but today we are sitting down with Fields. We are also getting a first-hand look as the cast performs one of the play's infamous numbers!


Munster, IN- The Broadway smash hit musical THE WIZ, with book by William F. Brown and music by Charlie Smalls, will blow audiences away July 7 through August 7, 2011 at Theatre at the Center, 1040 Ridge Road, Munster, Indiana. The production will open Sunday, July 10 at 7 p.m. Stacey Flaster will direct and choreograph. THE WIZ first opened on Broadway in 1975 and ran for four years (1600 performances). It made a historic footprint as the first large-scale big-budget musical featuring an all-African American cast. THE WIZ won seven Tony Awards including Best Musical and was produced in 1978 by Motown/Universal as a film starring Diana Ross, Michael Jackson, Lena Horne, and Richard Pryor.

The cast of THE WIZ will be led by powerhouse performer Felicia Fields as "Evillene". Fields is Tony Award Nominee for Best Featured Actress in Broadway's THE COLOR PURPLE, also earning her a 2006 Theatre World Award, a Clarence Derwent Award, two awards, an NAACP nomination and a Denver Post Ovation Award. Fields was a 2006 Drama League honoree. The cast also stars James Earl Jones II as "The Lion" and "Uncle Henry" (SPAMALOT and RAGTIME at Drury Lane Theatre), Dwelvan David as "The Wiz" (Drury Lane Theatre's RAGTIME) and Adrianna Parson as "Dorothy" (Black Theatre Alliance award for Best Featured Actress in a Musical for her role in AIDA at Bailiwick, also appeared in AIDA at Drury Lane Theatre and A CHORUS LINE at Marriott Theatre).

Jesse Dean Stanford stars as "Tinman", Darius Colquitt as "Scarecrow", Alexis J. Rogers as "Addaperle", Candace C. Edwards as "Glinda" and "Aunt Em", Vasily Deris as "Winged Monkey" and ensemble members N'jameh Camara, Chris Carter, Reneisha Jone'ne Jenkins, Joelle Lamarre, Jaymes Osborne, Rebecca Pink, John Pierce Taylor and Marlon Washington.

The Artistic Team, supporting Director and Choreographer Stacey Flaster, is led by Artistic Director William Pullinsi with Musical Direction by William Underwood. Chris Carter is the assistant to the Choreographer. The design team for THE WIZ is Set Designer Bill Bartelt, Lighting Designer Tim Fandrei, Sound Designer Barry Funderburg, Costume Designer Brenda Winstead, Wardrobe Supervisor Alice Broughton, Wig Designer Kevin Barthel and Props Designer Libby Fandrei. The Stage Manager is John Grant-Phillips, the Assistant Stage Manager is Erin Elle East and the Technical Director is Ann Davis.

After celebrating the demise of the Wicked Witch of the East with the Munchkins, THE WIZ follows Dorothy as her and Toto "ease on down" the yellow brick road to the Emerald City. Along the way she encounters a hip Scarecrow, an uptight Tin Man and a mama's-boy Lion. Together they seek help from the powerful Wizard, who turns out to be a phony. Dorothy's adventures in the Land of Oz have been set in a dazzling, lively mixture of rock, gospel and soul music. Time Magazine raves THE WIZ is "a carnival of fun? a wickedly amusing show". Founded in 1991, Theatre at the Center is a year-round professional theater at its home, The Center for Visual and Performing Arts, 1040 Ridge Road, Munster, Indiana. Theatre at the Center is Located off I-80/94, just 35 minutes from downtown Chicago, and has free parking.

Performances are Wednesdays and Thursdays at 2:00 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays at 8:00 p.m.; Sundays at 2:30 p.m.; and select Thursday evening and Saturday matinees. Individual ticket prices range from $36 - $40. To purchase individual tickets call the Box Office at 219.836.3255 or at 800.511.1552. Group discounts are available for groups of 11 or more and gift certificates, perfect for all special occasions, are also available by calling the Box Office at 219.836.3255. For more information on Theatre at the Center, visit .

FELICIA P. FIELDS (Evillene) is returning to Theatre at the Center after appearing as Sister Hubert in Nunset Boulevard, adding to her TATC credits, which include Swinging on a Star, Nunsense and Some Like it Hot. She is delighted to be enjoying her home, family and friends after being on Broadway and touring the U.S. and Canada for about six years, performing in The Color Purple. She earned a Tony nomination for her portrayal of Sofia in The Color Purple on Broadway. Her performance earned her a 2006 Theatre World Award, A Clarence DerwentAward, two Awards, an NAACP nomination, a Denver Post Ovation Award and she was a 2006 Drama League honoree. She was last seen in Low Down Dirty Blues (Jeff nomination). Felicia has received many Joseph Jefferson award nominations and has worked throughout Chicagoland, including Ella Fitzgerald in Jammin'with Pops, Katisha in Hot Mikado, Queenie in Show Boat, Ma Rainey in Ma Rainey's Black Bottom, Nell/Amelia in Ain't Misbehavin', Effie Melody White in Dreamgirls, The Amen Corner and The Rose Tattoo. Her performance in Chicago's Drury Lane production of Sophisticated Ladies earned her the Joseph Jefferson Award for Best Actress in a Musical. TV/Film credits include Early Edition, Save the Last Dance, Knights of Prosperity and many commercials and voice-overs.

ADRIANNA PARSON (Dorothy) is excited to make her TATC debut this summer. She recently appeared as an ensemble member in Drury Lane's production of Aida. Other Chicago credits include A Chorus Line at the Marriott Theatre at Lincolnshire; Amneris in Aida at Bailiwick Chicago; and the Nurse in Hello! Again at the Bohemian Theatre Ensemble. Adrianna has also appeared in Brigadoon, Taylor in High School Musical, and Maggie in A Chorus Line at The Wagon Wheel in Warsaw, Indiana. She would like to thank her family and Thomas for their constant encouragement and support.

JAMES EARL JONES II (Uncle Henry/Lion) is making his TATC debut! James just finished playing the role of the villainous Crown in Court Theatre's Jeff Nominated production of Porgy & Bess. His work has garnered Black Theatre Alliance Awards & African American Arts Alliance Awards. Regional credits include: Aida, the Midwest premiere of Spamalot and Ragtime with Drury Lane Oakbrook; A Civil War Christmas with Northlight; Annie Get Your Gun with Ravinia; Porgy & Bess with Lyric Opera of Chicago & San Francisco Opera; 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee with Broadway in Chicago & Mason Street Warehouse; Full Monty with Marriott; Black Nativity with Goodman/Congo Square; Dessa Rose with Appletree; and many more. He will be joining Stacey Flaster again later this year in Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat with Paramount Theater. You can hear his voice on various radio & TV commercials! Thanks to Stacey, The "Bills" and Richard for this opportunity! For Semaje...

JESSE DEAN STANFORD (Tinman) is excited about his debut at TATC! He has been performing nationally for two decades garnering several award nominations. Theatre credits include: a five-year international tour with A Piece of My Soul? The Anthology of Gospel for LewisPro; Tom Collins in Rent at The Barn Theatre; Memphis in The Life at Circle Theatre; James "Thunder" Early in Dreamgirls, and TonTon Julian/Agwe in Once on This Island at Cornerstone Theatre; Gabriel in Black Nativity (five years) at Congo Square Theatre Company; Governor Hicks in Eyes at ETA; Fred Parish in Doo Wop Shoo Bop with Black Ensemble; and most recently as Branford in Torn: The Musical and the workshop for Charleston Olio at The Goodman Theatre. Additionally, Jesse's excited about his sophomore independent recording project In the Present (August 2011).

DARIUS COLQUITT (Scarecrow) is very pleased to be making his TATC premiere in what he calls his "Dream Role." "T.Q." is no stranger to the stage or screen, having been featured in more than 50 productions across the Midwest with several different production companies, in which he holds company member positions. In addition to being an Award Winning Actor & Writer, "T.Q." is the Artistic Director of his own Theatrical Organization: "Nu Xpression Theatrics" or "NXT." Chicago credits include: Billy Flynn in Chicago with Lincoln Park Rep.; and Jimmy Early in Dreamgirls, Tinman in TheWiz: Remix with Cornerstone Productions. Regional credits include: Buddy in The Diviners, Student 2/Juliet in Shakespeare's R&J, and Christopher in Blue/Orange with GRCC Players Grand Rapids, MI. Directorial Credits Include: Schoolhouse Rock: LIVE, The Wiz: Urban Cut, and mutiple productions under the name of "NXT." "T.Q." would to thank God for seeing The Best in him to this day, his family & friends for their undying support, his Best Friend, Donica for the loving "Head's Up," and his nu Wiz family... KEEP ON EASIN' ON! Live Golden!

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