Friday, November 26, 2010

When I Think of Home

I found this great video of Stephanie Mills performing "Home" from The Wiz. Mills, of course, created the part of Dorothy in The Wiz back in 1975 on Broadway, and she went on to play Dorothy in both the 1984 and 1992 revivals as well. I saw Stephanie Mills three times in the 1992 revival. She was extraordinary!

Despite being thirty-five years old in the 1992 revival, she was absolutely convincing as a little girl. She wasn't even playing Dorothy as a teenager. Dorothy in the stage version of The Wiz is probably at the most twelve. One thing that helped incredibly, besides Mills's singing and acting, was the fact that she is very short. Probably less than five feet. So the rest of the cast towered over her.

The video below is not from the stage version. It is a music video of Mills performing the song as she did on her 1989 album called Home. She dedicates the song to her friends from Oz - meaning not the Scarecrow and Tin Woodman, but Wiz composer Charlie Smalls and Wiz producer Ken Harper, both of whom had died shortly before the album was recorded. In the video you can see a photo on Mills's make-up table of her as Dorothy. She opens a trunk and looks through some of her Wiz memorabilia, including her Silver Shoes, and at the very end she fondly touches a photo of composer Charlie Smalls. Give it a listen!

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