'The Wiz' Chicago: Alan Mingo Jr. stars in titular role at Cadillac Palace Theatre

ByHosea Sanders and Marsha Jordan WLS logo
Monday, December 4, 2023
Alan Mingo Jr. stars as titular 'The Wiz' in Chicago revival
A revival of "The Wiz" in Chicago recently opened at the Cadillac Palace Theatre, with Alan Mingo Jr. in the titular role.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- A revival of "The Wiz" just opened at Chicago's Cadillac Palace Theatre, with Alan Mingo Jr. in the titutlar role. The all-powerful character in Emerald City is as you've never seen him before.

"I love how he's turned out, it's not the old bullying, yelling, scaring everybody, he's trapped in this world too, and he needs Dorothy to help him," said Mingo.

RELATED: Chicago-native actress talks dual role in 'The Wiz,' now playing at Cadillac Palace Theatre

This run is somewhat of a homecoming to the Cadillac for Mingo as well.

"The last time I was here I was the donkey in 'Shrek,'" he said. "I had the same dressing room here at the Cadillac. Back in the day, this was my very first big city touring, right out of school, so Chicago has a very special place in my heart."

The actor has been in two other casts of "The Wiz," and resisted changes to the show at first.

"For me, seeing 'The Wiz' with Diana Ross and Richard Pryor, Michael Jackson, I got to see people who look and sound and act like me. So it allowed me to realize I can have this as a career. But beyond that, there weren't a lot of movies with us in them. I don't like to mention my age, but I was of a generation when you would yell down the street when there was someone of color on TV," he said.

"I have not been part of a show that's giving you this richness, the audience comes in educated, because again, it's something we know, and showing them something different and watching them love it," Mingo said. "I want you to come, sit back, hear the songs you know, and you're used to hearing, and watch us turn it up a notch and go along for the ride."

"The Wiz" is at the Cadillac Palace through December 10, so you only have through this weekend to see it, and it earned great reviews.