If you combine The Wizard of Oz and the punk band Green Day together, what do you get?
The Wiz, Garibaldi secondary style.
The Wiz was originally released by Universal Pictures in 1978, as a remake of L. Frank Baum’s 1900 children’s novel, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, but with an all-black cast.
Cynthia Lacroix and co-director Sharmila Miller have further re-imagined the film with a live rock and roll band and steampunk flair.
“So it’s a little more present and updated for a modern audience. It moves faster to match the intelligence of our audiences today,” said Lacroix.
Although they have kept Dorothy’s traditional dress that the children would see in The Wizard of Oz, instead, they put her in a pair of punked-out 1960’s runners that they hand-sparkled themselves and added a leather brass belt.
There will be moving digital art and moving intelligent lighting in the production.
The lighting has been 10 years in the making.
In 2009, Lacroix was watching a performance of Jesus Christ Superstar at a theatre in North Vancouver when she noticed their lights.
When she asked about them she was told they cost about $3,500 each. Then she learned that not only would she have to raise the $3,500, but also money for a new lighting board and $1,500 for the protocol to run the lights.
Fast forward to this years production of The Wiz, not only does Lacroix have a new lighting board and the protocol for the lights, she was able to rent the lights. This is the first time lights of this calibre will be used for a production at the school.
The set is also very unique. It has three different levels with five different entrance places and places for actors to disappear.
“Then I took the whole thing down to white and then I layered into that this feeling of horizontal, end of the earth, grey streaks,” said Lacroix.
“Everything that’s in a place has this sort of dream kind of feel to it,” she said.
This is Lacroix’s 31 st year teaching theatre at Garibaldi secondary and this is the first year she has had a co-director for a show.
“It’s really fun working with somebody else,” said Lacroix noting that with the extra help they were able to upscale certain aspects of the production.
“We’ve invested $1,000 into makeup for this show including the foundation gun, which is very expensive, with all the special effects makeup,” said Lacroix about the airbrush gun they purchased.
Then they found a volunteer to teach them how to use the system.
The faces of the monkeys is where Lacroix says the new makeup art will be most noticeable.
Each student made their own mask template for each monkey face.
“Now when they finish off it looks like something you could actually film because it’s so perfect. It’s beautiful. It’s absolutely stunning,” said Lacroix.
The Wiz runs nightly starting at 7:30 p.m. at the Garibaldi Secondary Theatre, 24789 Dewdney Trunk Road, Maple Ridge.
Tickets, $18 for adults and $15 for seniors and students, are cash only and are available at the Garibaldi Secondary office, Little Cricket Gift Gallery at 22347 Lougheed Hwy. and the at the door, depending on availability.