A week after its dismal opening, The Wiz sold out at Saturday matinee. Tinman. He had a book, written by William Brown, and 13 original songs with lyrics written by Charlie Smalls. Ella Mitchell Ella Mitchell (15 August 1937) is an American soul singer and actress. Theater (and other show titles) The Wiz. Fox hadn't been discouraged by the reviews. The production featured music and lyrics by Smalls and book by William F. Brown. See more ideas about The wiz, Broadway playbills, Majestic theatre. joined NBC's series of live musical events starring Uzo Aduba as Glinda the good witch, Queen Latifah as the Wonderful Wizard of Oz, Stephanie Mills as Aunt Em, Mary J. Blige as Evillene, David Alan Grier as The Cowardly Lion, Amber Riley as Addaperle, Ne-Yo as the Tin Man, Elijah Kelley as the Scarecrow, Common as Bouncer, and 18-year-old newcomer Shanice Williams as Dorothy. The wheel began to turn immediately. The Wiz, Charlie Smalls’ musical adaption of The Wizard of Oz, opened at the Majestic Theatre January 5, 1975. Test your theatre knowledge based on these reimagined plots. Ella Mitchell Bio/Wiki, Net Worth, Married 2018 Ella Mitchell ( August 15, 1937 ) is a African-American soul singer and actress. Actresses (C) Ella Mitchell & Gayle Turner w. cast in a scene fr. He was pursued by a teacher and his cousin to work in theater. "I began to perspire," Harper recalls, "and then I went out into the lobby of the theatre and I fainted. the replacement cast of the Broadway musical "The Wiz." The Wiz Broadway, The Wiz Original Cast List, Original Cast, Current Cast ... Ella Mitchell. Rounding out the cast were Butterfly McQueen and Arnetia Walker as standbys and Cynthia Ashby and Otis Sallid as swings. November 2020. Sandy got on the phone to the staff back at her office and had them follow through on all the stories and radio and TV bookings that had been lined up. The album has been cut now, produced in slick, recording studio-style, laid down section by section and mixed later, for utter perfection. Look back at the 10 most recent productions to play over 100 performances at the venue. Look Back at Past Productions of The Wiz on Broadway. Lin-Manuel Miranda constantly makes headlines, but what about Leslie Odom, Jr., Renée Elise Goldsberry, and the rest of Broadway’s founding company? On Broadway, Mitchell took over from Mabel King as Evillene in The Wiz. He wanted to take L. Frank Baum’s classic The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, which was written at the turn of the century and later became irrevocably associated with sweet Judy Garland and the wonderful white Bert Lahr, and turn it into a Top 40s-style Black musical comedy. Harper was ready. Hinton Battle, Stephanie Mills, Ted Ross, and Tiger Haynes in, Martha Swope / The New York Public Library, Clarice Taylor, Stephanie Mills, and Dee Dee Bridgewater in, Martha Swope/©NYPL for the Performing Arts, Stephanie Mills, Andre De Shields, and Stu Gilliam in, Tiger Haynes, Andre De Shields, Hinton Battle, Stephanie Mills, and Ted Ross in, Andre De Shields, Tiger Haynes, Hinton Battle, Stephanie Mills, and Ted Ross in, Pan Asian Repertory Theatre Will Launch Season With, Theatre Artists Call Out Hypocrisy, Demand Reckoning and Trump Removal After Capitol Building Havoc, Tony Winner Tonya Pinkins to Appear in ABC's, Betty Buckley Will Offer Virtual Song/Monologue Master Class, Alia Jones-Harvey and Stephen Byrd Partner With Columbia University for Front Row Productions Fellowship. Eventually, Harper ran across someone who counted: "the president of a very big glass company who had a friend on the board of directors of Twentieth Century Fox. For the seven weeks it was on the road before opening in NYC, The Wiz had problems. Actors Ella Mitchell & Ken Page in a publicity shot fr. The Wiz (Jun 15, 1976 - Jul 07, 1979) Also Starring: Ella Mitchell [Evillene] Musical Comedy Original. Evillene. the replacement cast of the Broadway musical "The Wiz." For the complete cast and creative team, visit PlaybillVault.com/TheWiz. Harper and Smalls flew to California and made the presentation, which included some obvious but salient merchandising information. He can say that now, with ease, for The Wiz has been honored by the Tony Awards (as we go to press, it's been nominated in eight categories including "Best Musical"). Addaperle Sharon Brooks. He talked to anyone and everyone. 1978-01-01. 7. References The Wiz [Broadway] Broadway Revival, 1984. Mitchell is best remembered for playing the comic role as Hattie Mae Pierce (Big Momma) in the 2000 comedy film Big Momma's House and Evillene the evil witch in the original Broadway theatre production of the musical The Wiz.. Career. Martha Swope photographs. "I had to go to the principals after the curtain came down on opening night and ask them to be at the studio at 8:30 AM," Sandy said. Look back at the most recent productions to play over 100 performances at the venue. In spite of its problems, The Wiz was beginning to build out-of-town audiences. Ken Page and Ella Mitchell. Before long, they called Harper and asked him to come to the coast with a presentation. Jun 11, 2019 - The original production, starring Stephanie Mills, opened January 5, 1975 at the Majestic Theatre. Discover which memorable musical theatre characters align with your personality type! The Wiz [Broadway] Original Broadway Production, 1975. In this country, at this time, a certain kind of Black music, the Motown sound, sells, and it sells to everyone, Black and white.". Start Your 2021 Reading List With These 31 Books Broadway Stars Are Currently Recommending, 2020 in Photos: A Look Back at an Unprecedented Year in Theatre History. Tickets were selling at the half-price ticket booth on Times Square. Kick start the new year with these musical lyrics for your astrological sign. "This only works," Harper assured me, "if what you're selling is good. The Wiz (Aug 04, 1992 - Apr 18, 1993) Also Starring: Ella Mitchell [Evillene] Musical Comedy Revival. "If I’d met you three years ago," he said to me, "I’d given you the rap and asked if you knew anyone." 1977-01-01. When The Wiz began previews, it was still pretty much an unknown entity. "You pick up Billboard or Cashbox" any week," Harper told them, "and what you’ll find is that five of the Top 10 songs on the charts are Black." Two weeks after, all performances were selling out. The two-time Tony Award winner celebrates her birthday December 31. Ella Mitchell played Evillene as a replacement in the original Broadway production (ca. Ella Mitchell(b. Actors Ella Mitchell & Ken Page in a publicity shot fr. Ken Harper had the concept for the TV commercial, a telescoped version of the Yellow Brick Road scene, with punched up orchestration of the song, "Ease On Down the Road." Apparently, if handled well, it can work wonders. On stage, Mitchell played the lead role of the evil witch, "Evillene", in the original Broadway theatre production of the musical "The Wiz" between 1976 and 1977. also known as Ella Pearson Mitchell born on 15 August 1937 (77 years ago) in Toledo The show ran 1,672 performances and won the Tony Award for Best Musical. Ella Mitchell is an American soul singer and actress. Saved by Playbill. The original production starred Stephanie Mills as Dorothy, Tiger Haynes as the Tinman, Ted Ross as the Lion, Hinton Battle as the Scarecrow, Clarice Taylor as Addaperle, Mabel King as Evillene, André De Shields as the Wiz, and Dee Dee Bridgewateer as Glinda alongside Tasha Thomas, Phylicia Ayers-Allen, Leettie Battle, Danny Beard, Phillip Bond, Leslie Butler, Pi Douglass, Ronald Dunham, Wendy Edmead,Frank Floyd, Rodney Green, Sam Harkness, Eugene Little, Eleanor McCoy, Frances Morgan, Joni Palmer, John Parks, Howard Porter, Jozella Reed, Kenneth Scott, Evelyn Thomas, Andy Torres, Carl Weaver, and Ralph Wilcox. There were no advance sales, the front money was gone, and things looked so bad a closing notice was posted backstage on opening night. Before tuning into the streaming benefit, here's a spread sure to impress the rat of all your dreams. Ken Harper was 32 years old at the time and had just given up a job as a program affairs director of PIX Radio to spend full time time talking up The Wiz. Here is how it happened. But not so in New York. ", They liked it. Performer (Swing) Howard Porter. Begin with the idea—or "the concept," as it’s known in the language of producers. Weaknesses. Ella Mitchell (born August 15, 1937) is an American actress and comedienne, best known for portraying Big Momma in Big Momma's House. It will be a "concept" album and will sell, Harper hopes, like Tommy and Jesus Christ Superstar. "I told them, 'Go to bed tonight or don't go to bed, but please find a way to be there on time.'". Can You Name These Musicals Summarized From the Perspective of a Secondary Character? (New York) Names Swope, Martha (Photographer) Collection. The show was revived in 1984 starring Stephanie Mills as Dorothy once more. Three years of my life!". Broadway Horoscopes: Which Musical Theatre Lyric Will Inspire Your 2021. Ella Mitchell (15 August 1937) is an African-American soul singer and actress. The production played 15 previews and 1,672 performances before closing January 28, 1979. This is a story of a Broadway phenomenon, a show in so much trouble its closing notice was posted on opening night and which was forcibly turned into Broadway's biggest hit—all in a matter of weeks. It was not the usual Broadway audience at all, but moviegoers, people who listen to Top 40s radio stations, young people, Black people,  families, people who've never been to the theatre in their lives, not even to see Raisin. The original production of the classic musical opened at the New Century Theatre December 30, 1948. Sign up for exclusive discounts and save up to 50% on tickets! During previews, Sandy Manley (who with several other bright young press agents formed the Merlin Group, Ltd.) persuaded The Wiz management to give her a virtually unlimited number of press tickets to use at her own discretion. Revisit the moments that defined the year on and (primarily) off stage. Broadway Checklist: How Many of These Shows at the New Amsterdam Theatre Have You Seen. He thought Fox might be interested. Digitized slides and mounted negatives. The Wiz Broadway Revival 1984 Stephanie Mills, Charles Valentino, Howard Porter, Gregg Baker, Peggie Blue, Carl Hall, Ella Mitchell, Juanita Flemming Good clear video with some generation loss and filmed with no close-ups but not a bad videofor its age and good clear sound; nice video. Her Reputation as the most dangerous in OZ has caused almost everyone to fear her, even the The Wiz has shown secretly great fear of her. Martha Swope photographs. All day Monday, management was in conference, waiting for the word. Scarecrow John-Ann Washington. The Wiz Ella Mitchell. No amount of money and advertising will sell a piece of shiit.". The Wiz follows Kansas farm girl Dorothy who works to find her way home after being transported in a tornado to a magical land. (New York) Names Swope, Martha (Photographer) Collection. Ella Mitchell, Gayle Turner, and cast of The Wiz Martha Swope/©NYPL for the Performing Arts Stephanie Mills, Andre De Shields, and Stu Gilliam in The Wiz Martha Swope As Dorothy Gale chases after her dog Toto, an upset Aunt Em tells her that she needs to take more responsibility (The Feeling We Once Had). Sheri Moore. Trouble was, he needed more money to do it, and what sane backer is going to pour money into a dying show? While television advertising of films is a highly developed marketing technique, it's only recently begun to be used for Broadway properties. Revisit this original piece, published in the May 1975 edition of Playbill Magazine, in honor of the musical's 46th Broadway anniversary. The way his intuition has been paying off, Harper may end up making that hundred million dollar dream come true. Mitchell is best known for playing the comic role of Hattie Mae Pierce (Big Momma) in the 2000 comedy film Big Momma's House starring Martin Lawrence. Mitchell is best remembered for playing the comic role as Hattie Mae Pierce in the 2000 comedy film Big Momma's House and Evillene the evil witch in the original Broadway theatre production of the musical The Wiz. Actress Ella Mitchell in a publicity shot fr. Ella Mitchell, Gayle Turner, and cast of The Wiz Martha Swope/©NYPL for the Performing Arts Stephanie Mills, Andre De Shields, and Stu Gilliam in The Wiz Martha Swope See what’s playing on Amazon Prime Video, Hulu, HBO Max, and more this month. He signed on jack-of-all arts, Geoffrey Holder, as costume designer and, eventually, as director, and he found a couple of unknowns for principal roles, namely 16-year-old Stephanie Mills as Dorothy and 18-year-old Hinton Battle for the Scarecrow. The two-time Tony Award winner celebrates her birthday December 31. Copyright 1991-2020 © Playbill Inc. All Rights Reserved. Tony winners Betty Buckley, André De Shields, Rita Moreno, Bernadette Peters, Chita Rivera, Leslie Uggams, and more express their gratitude. Some members of the Black community felt the show had been mistreated by white critics and began to beat the drum. The original production, starring Stephanie Mills, opened January 5, 1975 at the Majestic Theatre. Tinman Charles Valentino. Dorothy and the house land in the magical Land of Oz, falling on Evamene the Wicked Witch of the East. 1937) is a gospel singer and actress who appeared on Sesame Streettwice in season 4. With Fox as the sole limited partner, Ken Harper was on his way as a producer. The Wiz: The Super Soul Musical "Wonderful Wizard of Oz" is a musical with music and lyrics by Charlie Smalls (and others) and book by William F. Brown.It is a retelling of L. Frank Baum's children's novel The Wonderful Wizard of Oz (1900) in the context of contemporary African-American culture.It opened on October 21, 1974, at the Morris A. That, folks, is how the story of how The Wiz was won. If he could find a way of getting to these people, he was sure The Wiz would win. Afterwards, a tornado (played by dancers dressed in black) sweeps Dorothy and the farmhouse away while Aunt Em, Uncle Henry and Toto go into hiding. (New York). Harper had a very clear idea of the kind of audience he believed it was possible to pull in. the replacement cast of the Broadway musical "The Wiz." Mitchell is best remembered for playing the comic role as Hattie Mae Pierce (Big Momma) in the 2000 comedy film Big Momma's House and Evillene the evil witch in the original Broadway theatre production of … (2015) Fred Nihda built the Tin Man costume for the original Broadway production of The Wiz (1975) Richard Pryor played The Wiz in The Wiz (1978 film) He began his career at the outdoor theatre The Muny. the replacement cast of the Broadway musical "The Wiz." Copyright 1991-2020 © Playbill Inc. All Rights Reserved. Then she called the radio stations advertising managers and made deals, trading off a thousand dollars worth of tickets in exchange for a thousand dollars worth of free air time—the equivalent of 14 30-second spots. Finally, at 2:30 in the afternoon, a decision came through. Evillene [Replacement] Photos. The Wiz made theatre history overnight. The musical earned eight Tony nominations, winning 7 including best musical. Mitchell appeared in the 1975 film Lord Shango. The original production starred Stephanie Mills as Dorothy, and featured Tiger Haynes, Hinton Battle, Ted Ross, Andre de Shields, and Dee Dee Bridgewater in supporting roles. Evillene Howard Porter. Mitchell is best remembered for playing the comic role as Hattie Mae Pierce in the 2000 comedy film Big Momma's House and Evillene the evil witch in the original Broadway theatre production of the musical The Wiz. A technical run-through before opening night in Baltimore was so disastrous the managing company told Harper he’d be wise to pack it in. Begin your 2021 with a boost from Broadway and beyond. "Stephanie Mills used to sing with the Cornerstone Baptist Church choir," Sandy said, "and I want to tell you, that's a network. Clive Barnes clobbered them. In exchange for first option for film rights, publishing rights, and album rights, they agreed to put up an ante of $650,000 with a 20 percent overcall (extra money the producer’s allowed to spend if the production needs it—and this one sure did). (New York). The Wiz, Charlie Smalls’ musical adaption of The Wizard of Oz, opened at the Majestic Theatre January 5, 1975. Theater (and other show titles) The Wiz. 1977) and in the 1984 revival Ne-Yo played the Tin Man in The Wiz Live! When the reviews came out, Stephanie's mother got on the telephone and started calling people.". Series VI. Ken Page (January 20, 1954) was born in St. Louis, Missouri. She is Very Allergic to Water as too much can cause her to melt completely into a puddle; She has a very short temper to the point she harms anyone that gives her bad news or who opposes her rule/command. He later went to become an understudy for the Cowardly Lion during the original run of The Wiz. Jul 30, 2019 - Explore Playbill's board "The Wiz", followed by 13532 people on Pinterest. By Felicia Fitzpatrick, Kerri Kearse | 01/03/2021. (In an ironic twist, Atlantic also got to do the cast album because Fox let its option lapse.). These commercials were crammed into a two-week period, during which time word of the The Wiz reached 95 percent of all local TV households 7.7 times. Clarice Taylor, Stephanie Mills, and Dee Dee Bridgewater in, Martha Swope/©NYPL for the Performing Arts, Hinton Battle, Stephanie Mills, Ted Ross, and Tiger Haynes in, Martha Swope / The New York Public Library, Stephanie Mills, Andre De Shields, and Stu Gilliam in, Tiger Haynes, Andre De Shields, Hinton Battle, Stephanie Mills, and Ted Ross in, Andre De Shields, Tiger Haynes, Hinton Battle, Stephanie Mills, and Ted Ross in, Stephanie Mills, Andre De Shields, and Stu Gilliam, Pan Asian Repertory Theatre Will Launch Season With, Theatre Artists Call Out Hypocrisy, Demand Reckoning and Trump Removal After Capitol Building Havoc, Tony Winner Tonya Pinkins to Appear in ABC's, Betty Buckley Will Offer Virtual Song/Monologue Master Class, Alia Jones-Harvey and Stephen Byrd Partner With Columbia University for Front Row Productions Fellowship, Grateful: 37 Broadway Actors Share Who They Were Thankful for in 2020. 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