Oz in the News 1.26.11

The Whiz – Created and performed by nichoas leichter dance Ease on down the road to recession and back from the brink of fantasy in Nicholas Leichter and Monstah Black’s take on “The Wiz/ard of Oz” for the Obama generation. Featuring choreography by Leichter, and a commissioned adapted score by Black with added musical selections, The Whiz is a full-spectrum original show of song, dance, and theatrical extravagance. The work showcases an array of different dance, performance, and music styles – house, funk, postmodern, drag, hip-hop, contemporary, and psychedelic – which traverse a landscape of hopes, fears, dreams, and home. Whether exploring race and gender, the relationship between dancers, or between street and traditional dance styles, the movement evokes a cultivated culture clash. “Leichter hears the beat of the moment, and renders it into hot but human modern dance.”

Road to ‘Oz’ may lead Johnny Depp to Michigan Michigan’s biggest Hollywood movie project yet — a $105-million production at a huge new studio in Pontiac — has won approval for a $40-million tax credit that alone comprises more than 60% of all credits for 26 projects approved in the last six months of 2010.  Many signs hint that the movie is “Oz: The Great and Powerful,” a Disney prequel to the classic “Wizard of Oz” with Michigan native Sam Raimi directing and Johnny Depp negotiating for the lead role.

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