CHICAGO (WLS) — A revival of “The Wiz” has just opened at the Cadillac Palace Theater in Chicago, with Alan Mingo Jr. in the starring role. The main character in Emerald City is like you’ve never seen him before.
“I like how he turned out, he’s not the old bully, yelling, scaring everyone, he’s trapped in this world too, and he needs Dorothy to help him,” Mingo said.
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This drive is somewhat of a Cadillac homecoming for Mingo as well.
“The last time I was here I was a donkey in ‘Shrek,'” he said. “I had one dressing room here at Cadillac. Back in the day, this was my first visit to a big city, right after school, so Chicago has a very special place in my heart.”
The actor has been in two other casts of “The Wiz,” and he refused changes to the show at first.
“For me, when I saw ‘The Wiz’ with Diana Ross and Richard Pryor, Michael Jackson, I got to see people who looked and sounded and acted like me. So it made me realize that I could have this job. But beyond that, there were no movies. we have many. I don’t like to mention my age, but I was of the generation where you screamed in the street when there was a colored person on TV,” he said.
“I have not been a part of a program that gives you this wealth, the audience comes for education, because again, it is something we know, and to show them something different and watch them like,” Mingo said. “I want you to come, sit back, hear the songs you know, and you’re used to hearing, and watch us raise the bar and go along for the ride.”
“The Wiz” is at the Cadillac Palace through Dec. 10, so you just have to see it this weekend, and it got rave reviews.