Scope and arrangement
“The Wiz” Collection documents various aspects of both the musical and the movie. There are two series; the first pertains to the Broadway musical, and the second, to the movie version. The materials in the collection span the period from 1974-1979.
Newspaper and magazine clippings constitute almost all of the material in both series, however, a few pieces of additional documentation is included in the form of play scripts, screenplays, playbills, “The Wiz Scrapbook” (from the movie version), and a Tony Award nomination certificate presented to Harper for “Best Musical- Producer,” 1974-75. Photographs, posters, drawings, film and tapes are also part of this collection, but have been transferred to the appropriate divisions within the Schomburg Center and can be accessed there (see Separation Record p. 6).
The The Wiz collection is arranged in two series:
The series contains an extensive amount of material about various aspects of the play. The Scripts subseries includes the first, third, and two different final drafts of the play. The Cast, Crew Members and Production Staff subseries is comprised of folders of magazine and newspaper clippings for various people associated with the play, including Dee Dee Bridgewater (who played Glenda the Good Witch), Andre De Shields (who played the title role), Geoffrey Holder (who designed the costumes and directed the play), and Stephanie Mills (who played Dorothy), and a separate folder for other personages, including Toto.
There are two subseries of reviews; one for the New York production, and the other for various road productions. The New York Production subseries is divided into opening night, print media, and radio and television reviews; the Road Productions subseries is divided into folders for California, Canada, Illinois, Massachusetts, Michigan, and Pennsylvania production reviews, with separate folders for radio and television, and assorted other production locations.
The Play series also includes documentation for numerous other aspects of “The Wiz”: playbills; awards and nominations; anniversaries, records and statistics; Broadway production closing; advertising, promotion and marketing; performance schedules; production costs and investment capital; ticket sales and revenues; auditions and casting; and the original Broadway cast album, round out the categories of materials included in the play series. In addition, there is a folder containing information about the musicians' strike, which halted performances for 25 consecutive days in 1975, and a folder of Broadway and society column commentary regarding “The Wiz.”
The series contains categories similar to those found in the play series, although there is a much smaller volume of material in the movie series. Scenes toward a screenplay, and the first, second, and third drafts of “The Wiz” are contained in the Screenplays subseries. The Cast Members subseries includes separate clippings folders for Lena Horne (who played Glenda the Good Witch), Michael Jackson (who played the Scarecrow), Diana Ross (who played Dorothy), and Nipsey Russell (who played the Tinman).
There is also material about the movie's October 24, 1978 premiere, reviews, advertising and promotion, production costs, ticket sales and revenues, the original motion picture soundtrack, and “The Wiz Scrapbook,” a souvenir journal which consists of pictures and written pieces about the cast and production. Lastly, a General folder holds both major write-ups and passing references about the movie itself, the history of “The Wizard of Oz,” costume designs, musicals-turned-movies, and other topics in which the movie or cast members are discussed.