The Wiz

The Wiz influenced my early life in some pretty interesting ways. When I was three or four I was cast as Dorothy in my preschool's production of The Wiz. I'm betting that it was because I was an extraordinarily verbal and highly dramatic child, even at that tender age. I remember having a ball doing it: watching the movie over and over was fun, rehearsing was fun, the costumes were fun, and performing it was fun. I got to throw a bucket of glitter on the witch instead of often does anyone get to throw buckets of glitter? Even though it was a little school production I was empowered by the experience, and began to believe that I could actually be or do whatever I wanted in life.

Looking back on it though as an adult, I see how creepy this film actually is. Abandoned theme park? Sinister subway? Fire-breathing robot head? Evil sweatshop taskmistresses? Torture devices? Yeah. But at the same time the film is richer for me now. I can appreciate the entirely Black (and very talented) cast, the fantastic music by Quincy Jones and the sexy, uplifting dance scene at the end with the hot sweatshop workers.