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`The Wiz' eases on down a new road

October 05, 2006

In "The Wiz," Dorothy and friends brought a Tony Award-winning 1970s urban beat to the Land of Oz. Now the musical based on L. Frank Baum's classic, with book by William F. Brown and music and lyrics by Charlie Smalls, gets a 21st century re-envisioning from director Des McAnuff and original "Wiz" orchestrator Harold Wheeler, reflecting cultural changes since the show's original Broadway debut decades ago. David Alan Grier is the Wiz to Nikki M. James' Dorothy, Rashad Naylor's Scarecrow, Tituss Burgess' Lion and Michael Benjamin Washington's Tin Man.

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"The Wiz," La Jolla Playhouse, 2910 La Jolla Village Drive, La Jolla. Opens 7:30 p.m. Wednesday. $56 to $72. (858) 550-1010; www.lajollaplayhouse.com

* Runs 7:30 p.m. Tuesdays and Wednesdays, 8 p.m. Thursdays and Fridays, 2 and 8 p.m. Saturdays, 2 and 7 p.m. Sundays. Ends Nov. 12.

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