Please support the Asbury Park High School theatre students by attending their production of “The Wiz,” produced by talented city resident Gary Kilmer.  It’s free for kids!…

Press Release:  Follow the yellow brick road to Emerald City!  The Wiz is making its spring premier next week in Asbury Park.  Performances will take place in the Asbury Park High School Auditorium April 19th, 20th, and 21st at 7 pm.

Asbury Park High School's theatre program presents "The Wiz" next weekend (Thursday to Saturday, April 19 to 21).

This outstanding musical performance will leave you wanting more from these very talented students of theater and the newly revived theater program at Asbury Park High.

When most of us think of The Wiz, we think of the 1978 musical film starring Diana Ross, Michael Jackson, and set in New York City.  But the original stage version of The Wiz, follows the much more familiar original “The Wizard of Oz” but told in a way designed to capture the essence of the African American experience.

The 1975 Broadway production won seven Tony Awards, including Best Musical. The musical was an early example of Broadway’s mainstream acceptance of works with an all-black cast and has had revivals in New York, London, San Diego and the Netherlands, and an Off Broadway Encores! concert version was staged in June 2009. 

The Asbury Park High School cast includes:  Stephania Beaulieu, Michael Berry, Edgar Carrasco, Erica Cervantes, Herling Domena, Alyssa Figueroa, A. Golden-Wilkenson, Tyrone Harmon, Quron Harris, Onnie Jackson, Tiara Levers, Dayvon Louis, La’Que Melvin, Allyson Pullan, Quanique Smith, Ebony Townes, Iyoni Tyler, and Kiana Williams.  An estimated 40-50 other APHS students will log hours helping with backstage crews and the technical needs of the show!      

APHS Theater and Dance teacher Gary Kilmer, a theater veteran who has performed on Broadway, across 48 of the US states, as well as overseas with shows like On The Town, South Pacific, JosephDreamcoat (w/Donny Osmond) and CHICAGO, has been rehearsing the cast since early February. 

Asbury Park High School’s former auto shop room has been transformed into a working Performing Arts classroom and rehearsal space!  Mr. Kilmer credits his former High School drama teacher with one of his favorite quotes; “The activities we do in theater and dance class are about PERFORMING, but the lessons we learn are about LIFE!” 

When speaking to Mr. Kilmer, it is very clear that he has invested much of himself in this program and the students in it.  “As a resident of this community, a staff member, and an all-round enthusiast of Asbury Park, I truly want these students to be successful in all they do, and hope to give them the resources, strength, power, and confidence to do so” said Mr. Kilmer about the cast and his students.

In this cross curricular partnership, other APHS Art Department teachers including Jean Johnson, Karen Schwarz, and Ralph Quick have their arts classes designing set pieces, t-shirts, learning instrumental music, and creating posters for the production.  “Our entire school community is a major piece of this production.  The Arts Department is working together to make this a phenomenal performance” exclaimed Kilmer.

We truly look forward to seeing the community come out to support the students at APHS!  We also look forward to seeing parents and families be a part of this performance, by coming to support their children, friends and peers. 

This is a wonderful opportunity to teach this fantastic lesson of rising above one’s background, the expectations of others, and learning the value of family, self, and home.  This can be a beautiful community message.

Performances are next Thursday to Saturday (April 19, 20, and 21) at 7 pm in the Asbury Park High School Auditorium.  Tickets are FREE to those 18 and under, and only $5 for adults.