I think it’s safe to say, we’re all sitting on the edge of our seats with popcorn and Sour Patch Kids, waiting for the Dec 3 arrival of NBC’s The Wiz Live! We may not be able to reach new levels of obsession over Shanice Williams and the rest of the star studded and immensely talented cast, but let me tell you something: there is more good news! Ne-Yo, I mean NBC, is taking us on a backstage, all-access look into the teamwork it takes to ease on down the road through “The Making of The Wiz Live!” on November 25 from 8-9pm EST.
We’ll see Shanice belting her face off, Queen Latifah bringing back “U.N.I.T.Y,” Mary J. Blige teaching us how she fits her infamous bop into her role as “Evilene”, and the original Dorothy, Stephanie Mills, reliving her experiences from the original Broadway production.
Okay, okay, okay! None of that was promised.. but tune in for an hour of insight that covers costumes to casting! And I’m sure candid (or not so candid) shots of Shanice singing! #yassss
UPDATE: Watch the latest promo video for #TheWizLive below!
The Wiz is an adaptation of L. Frank Baulm’s timeless, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, told through a lens that weaves in African American culture. Many were exposed to The Wiz through the 1978 film which featured Michael Jackson, Diana Ross, and Richard Pryor. However, the show we’ll see in December is based on the 1974 Broadway production of The Wiz that went on to snag seven Tony awards, including Best Musical.
The cast is like the Broadway Black version of The Avengers, bringing together our favorite veterans to give life to the revamped 2015 version of The Wiz. Shanice Williams leads us through the streets of Oz as “Dorothy”, Queen Latifah serves as the powerful, yet powerless legend: “The Wiz”, Mary J. Blige is “Evillene” (The Wicked Witch of the West), David Alan Grier searches for courage as the “Cowardly Lion”, Uzo Aduba is “Glinda”, Amber Riley is “Addaperle”, Stephanie Mills joins the company as “Auntie Em”, Elijah Kelley finally gets his brain as the “Scarecrow”, Common is the “Bouncer”, and Ne-Yo gets loose as the “Tin Man”. In the midst of so many talented stars, it’s no surprise that creativity produced magic. Ne-Yo, Elijah Kelley, music producer Harvey Mason, Jr., and music director Stephen Oremus, cowrote a new song which will be featured in the show.
Maybe we’ll get insight into that new song. Maybe we’ll see David Alan Grier crack jokes on his fellow castmates. Maybe we’ll just see Shanice smiling. All I know is we’re getting a glimpse into this highly anticipated production– the very glimpse my impatience needed.
Take a look at glimpse of the panel discussion we attended with a part of the cast at the Apple Store in Soho. If you follow us on Periscope you know we streamed the entire thing. It was great!