At the end of the classic tale The Wiz, the main characters Dorothy, the Cowardly Lion, The Tin Man and Scarecrow found out that the man pulling the strings was just a big, fat fraud who couldn’t realize their dreams.
Well, this past weekend, art seemed to imitate real life during a production of the The Wiz in Louisville at the Brown Theatre after patrons stormed out and demanded refunds, according to the Louisville Courier-Journal. Attendees said the show was a “sloppy” rendition of the classic 1975 Broadway musical, which is an all-Black stage production based on the Frank L. Baum book, “The Wonderful Wizard of Oz,” published in 1900. A film version starring Diana Ross, Michael Jackson and was released in 1978.
The actress playing Dorothy reportedly flubbed her lines. Even worse, the Cowardly Lion was said to look more like a bear and the so-called magical land of Oz was just a reflection on a wall from a laptop projector.
One concert-goer Tasha McGhee, who went to the 7 p.m. show complained saying the Cowardly Lion’s costume was pretty awful.
“He didn’t look like a lion,” McGhee said. “He looked like a dumb sasquatch!”
“It was really sloppy,” McGhee continued. “The backdrop was a projected image of a cornfield and a barn. But then laptop notifications kept popping up on screen. They were projecting it off of someone’s computer.”
“The whole thing is weird,” an employee said. “Some people didn’t stay more than nine minutes through the show. There was a woman who was so distraught she walked out and spent the entire time talking to the ticket sales people as the show was going on.”
“It was terrible,” said Helen Barnett, who spent $65 for seats. “Dorothy was wearing a Walmart dress. They forgot their dialogues … at one point Dorothy said she wanted to go back to Texas!”
The tickets, which cost between $35 to $65 from Island Entertainment KC, of Kansas City, Missouri, which put on two shows at the Brown Theatre, reportedly won’t be refunded, the producer reportedly told the Louisville Courier-Journal.
“The people who came to the three o’clock show, there was just a lot of issues,” Black said on Facebook Live. “The three o’clock show ended up being pretty much our dress rehearsal because we didn’t have enough time to do the show full-out at the venue before we performed it.”
The whole show was a wash, attendees said.
Lavarious Slaughter, the show’s producer and director said while he regrets how the show turned out, refunds are not an option.