Winner of seven Tony awards including "Best Musical" and nominated for four Academy Awards, the 1975 Broadway hit and 1978 film The Wiz is coming to Chicago in a gritty new production that is sure to knock your socks off and change the way you think about these classic characters. Packed full of incredible songs like "Ease on Down the Road," "Home," "Be a Lion," and "Don't Nobody Bring Me No Bad News," The Wiz is an urbanized retelling of L. Frank Baum's turn of the century novel The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, placed in the context of modern African-American culture. Resonating more deeply than ever in 2016's climate of racial and social unrest in America, director Lili-Anne Brown's production will explore what it means to live with intelligence, compassion, and courage in today's tough cities.

The Wiz
closed at Theater Wit
on April 23, 2017.


FOUR STARS! (out of five)
“There’s no bad news in Kokandy’s savvy revival of the streetwise Oz adaptation!”
– Kris Vire, Time Out Chicago

“A very lively, well sung production… Great fun with all the big, famous numbers!”
– Chris Jones, CBS 2 Chicago

“Powerful singers and dancers!”
– Jack Helbig, Chicago Reader

“Audiences will adore Kokandy’s take on The Wiz. It’s brimming with quality and entertainment from tip to tail!”
– Ian Rigg, Chicagoland Musical Theatre

“Easily the best musical I have reviewed to date!”
– Naima Dawson, PerformInk Chicago

“HIGHLY RECOMMENDED! The talent in this production is so super-sized it could easily hold court in Soldier Field.”
– Amy Munice, Picture This Post

“This production, directed to sheer perfection by Lili-Anne Brown utilizes the small stage of Theater Wit far exceeding my expectations.”
– Al Bresloff, Around the Town Chicago


8 Jeff Award Nominations:

  • Best Musical
  • Actress in a Principal Role – Musical
  • Actor in a Supporting Role – Musical (x2)
  • Actress in a Supporting Role – Musical
  • Choreography
  • Music Direction
  • Costume Design.


Lili-Anne Brown 

Arnel Sancianco
Set Design

Mealah Heidenreich
Props Design

Darian Tene
Assistant Choreography

William F. Brown

Jimmy Morehead
Music Direction

Alexander Ridgers
Lighting Design

Kirstin Johnson
Sound Engineering

Emily Boyd
Paint Charge

Breon Arzell
Choreography, Assistant Direction

Virginia Varland
Costume Design

Shawn Kronk
Master Electrician

Ebony Chuukwu
Assistant Stage Management

Kait Samuels
Stage Management

Michael J. Patrick
Sound Design

Lindsay Brown
Production Manager

Charlie Smalls
Music & Lyrics


Angela Alise

Breon Arzell

Chuckie Benson

Sydney Charles

Kyrie Courter

TJ Crawford

Anna Dauzvardis

Gilbert Domally

Desmond Gray

Jyreika Guest

Nicole Michelle Haskins

Frederick Harris

Julian Terrell Otis

Darren Patin

De’Jah Perkins

Steven Perkins

Tia L. Pinson

Michael Rawls

Darian Tene


Photos by Michael Brosilow.