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The Wizard Of Oz vs The Wiz

Author SaadiqahSaadiqah, August 17th, 2023

Find out the differences between The Wizard Of Oz and The Wiz

With the seven-time Tony award-winning hit The Wiz set to go on tour across North America starting at The Cary Theater on August 20 and hitting the Broadway stage in 2024, we thought what better way to celebrate than to dig in deep and see the differences between The Wizard Of Oz and the adaptation The Wiz.

The Wizard Of Oz has been considered one of the best movies in the film industry, from the iconic Judy Garland as Dorothy, with her shimmering red ruby slippers, to the classic songs like Over The Rainbow'. It was definitely hard to live up to until The Wiz came along and created a new interpretation, representing black Americans and retelling the story in a unique way.

Themes of the story

The Wizard Of Oz emphasizes the fantasy of the tale. The main theme is the importance of family and friendship and you see that as Dorothy goes on her journey; her main focus is making it home to be with her loved ones. The Wiz on the other hand focuses more on the cultural and political side, with the storyline having more of a serious tone. The characters go through emotional journeys and there are messages throughout about racism in America. We also see a different side to Dorothy, as she focuses on herself - finding independence and self-love.

Character depth

In both, you have the Scarecrow who seeks a brain, Tin Man who needs a heart and a Lion wanting courage. However, the difference is in The Wizard Of Oz all of them sing a different version of the same song and the character development stays the same, making them blend into each other. Whereas in The Wiz each character has their own song to make their journey unique and ensure their own individual experience is visible.

The music

We have mentioned before about the classic song Over The Rainbow' from The Wizard Of Oz but The Wiz may have to take the cake with music. The Wiz is full of Motown-inspired songs, some would say it gave the classic story more soul, emotion and energy. Grammy-award winner, R&B, soul and jazz legend Quincy Jones was responsible for The Wiz movie soundtrack.

Location

Dorothy is known to come from a farm in Kansas in The Wizard Of Oz but Dorothy in The Wiz is from Harlem, New York. This again goes back to the political statements The Wiz portrays, having Harlem, New York as Dorothy's home again represents the Black community that the target audience can relate to.

Both The Wizard Of Oz and The Wiz are iconic in their own way. The tale might be the same but these two spectacular hits have a different story to tell. There's so much more to tell you but we wouldn't want to spoil this spectacle for you - you'll have to find out for yourself when The Wiz comes to town!

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