That's the book the Afterthought Theatre Co. will be working from for its upcoming Wiz production, and while it may not have the budget of its first incarnation, it does have a famous Glinda the Good Witch: Mary Louise Lee, Mayor Michael Hancock's wife.
Funny story about that: "She just showed up for auditions, and I was told, you know, Michael Hancock's wife is auditioning,'" recalls Bernie Cardell, director of the production. "So there was a woman auditioning whose last name was Hancock, and I just kind of assumed that must be her -- but Mary Louise Lee of course goes by Mary Louise Lee, so I didn't even know who she was when she auditioned."Not that it would have made much of a difference. As Cardell observes, Lee doesn't really need her husband's position to make it in the theater world, something she's been doing since high school; she's worked as an actress for the Arvada Center and the Denver Center, and she's got a pretty sweet jazz and R&B band on the side. "She has a gorgeous voice," Cardell promises. "She'll knock your socks off." And she'll be in good company with the production's five-piece band that'll be rendering the original Wiz's acclaimed tunes -- seriously, the original Wiz boasted some of the best tunes ever to come out of Broadway.
The only downside: Hancock was elected the week after Lee auditioned, which threw some considerable potential snags into her schedule -- so in the case she can't make it, she does have an understudy to fill in for her.
Still, even with the box-office draw of the mayor's wife in a role, Cardell says, "I think the most exciting part of this production is the music. We've got some wonderful talent in this show."