The last time Valley Youth Theatre presented “The Wiz” — a hip hop take on L. Frank Baum’s classic children’s story — Emma Stone, Jordin Sparks, Max Crumm and Chelsea Kane were just local kids performing in a fun musical. That was 2002.
Now ten years later, their names can be found in TV credits, Broadway playbills, concert headlines and Golden Globe nominations. This summer, VYT restages Charlie Small’s and William F. Brown’s rocking version of Dorothy, Scarecrow, Tinman and the Cowardly Lion searching for a brain, a heart, courage and the road home.
“Now is a great time to revisit this classic tale about believing in yourself,” said VYT Artistic Director Bobb Cooper.
Though no one knows which members of the 2012 cast will join Stone and the famous VYT gang, some of the actors, like East Valley resident Asijah Pickett (playing Dorothy) are already on the road to fame.
Pickett, a music student at Chandler Gilbert Community College, competed in season 8 of “American Idol” and was the recipient of the 2011 National Youth Arts Award for lead actress in a musical. Pickett has performed on numerous stages across the Valley and plans to continue her education at Berklee College of Music in Boston.
Tickets for “The Wiz” are available online at herbergertheater.org/the_wiz or by calling the Herberger Theater Center box office at (602) 252-8497. A performance for children with life-threatening illnesses will be given on June 7 and a special audio-description performance for the visually-impaired will be given on June 10.
DETAILS >> 7:30 p.m. Friday; show runs through June 24. Herberger Theater Center, 222 East Monroe St. $16.50-$34.50. (602) 252-8497 or herbergertheater.org.
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