Stephanie is the Rotorua Daily Post's education and lifestyle reporter.

Review: Schools' twist on classic story is a wiz

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Trevayze Wairepo as Tinman, Arapeta Paea as Lion and Teina Cassidy as Dorothy. Photo / Stephen Parker
Trevayze Wairepo as Tinman, Arapeta Paea as Lion and Teina Cassidy as Dorothy. Photo / Stephen Parker

If you are after a night full of impressive singing, dancing and music look no further than Rotorua Boys' and Rotorua Girls' High Schools' production, The Wiz.

Opening night was on Friday and had the audience entertained from beginning to end.

The production is based on the retelling of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz and will run until May 21.

Manaia Witoko, playing Aunt Em, was the first to sing and sent shivers down my spine.

Her soulful voice set a high standard for the production and I knew at that point we were in for a treat.

As the show progressed we were introduced to each new character and the actors did a fantastic job at making the role their own.

In particular Arran Rogers, playing Scarecrow, and Arapeta Paea, playing Lion, brought great charisma to their roles and had the audience in fits of laughter.

Teina Cassidy, playing Dorothy, did a commendable job, particularly with the many high notes in her songs.

All the actors used the stage space well and the calibre of their performances were so high I found myself forgetting I was watching a school show.

There are a few other aspects of the production that deserve a special shout-out.

The band was phenomenal and would not have been out of place playing on Broadway.

The music was a mix of rock, gospel and soul and had me tapping my feet and wiggling in my seat.

The costuming and choreography were also impressive with the actors making every cartwheel, flip and dance move look effortless.

I would highly recommend checking out the show - not only in support of two of our local high schools, but also for a truly unforgettable production.

At a glance:

* What: Rotorua Boys' and Rotorua Girls' High Schools' production, The Wiz

* Where: Sir Howard Morrison Performing Arts Centre

* When: May 13 to 21

- Rotorua Daily Post

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