We’re all pumped for the NBC special, The Wiz Live!, which has a crazy all star lineup, some wild costumes, and insanely talented voices. But that’s not all it has. Director Kenny Leon spoke to The Hollywood Reporter about the female characters in the special. First off, Queen Latifah is playing The Wiz, which is a whole new spin in itself. Kenny was inspired by her performance in A Raisin In The Sun on Broadway, and generally thought she was perfect for the role. But him and writer Harvey Fierstein, who revised the book for this version of the show, wanted to change up her backstory and make it more fitting. More »
So NBC is hosting The Wiz Live on December 3rd, which is amazing, because who doesn’t like The Wiz? The show is star studded and includes Queen Latifah, Mary J. Blidge, Common, Ne-Yo, Uzo Aduba, Amber Riley and so so many more. We have The Sound Of Music Live, starring Carrie Underwood to thank for this. After it did so well in 2013, NBC decided to keep doing more live musical shows. Last year they did Peter Pan Live, but personally I’m most excited for this one. This first clip reveals part of the choreographed sequence from the musical number “Brand New Day,” which looks flippin’ insane. Also, I am just loving Queen Latifah as the Wizard of Oz. Check it. More »
The New Beauty School Drop Out
WAAAAY back in January, we learned that Fox cast actresses Julianne Hough and Vanessa Hudgens as Sandy and Rizzo respectively in their forthcoming live musical adaptation of Grease. Over the summer, it was revealed that actor Aaron Tveit has been cast in the role of Danny Zuko. Today we learn more casting news about Grease Live … including the somewhat surprising news that pop star Carly Rae Jepsen has been cast as beloved beauty school drop out Frenchy. To be honest, altho her casting is unexpected, I ain’t mad at it. Read on to find out who else has been cast in the upcoming live musical production of Grease Live. More »
The Emerald City gatekeeper, The Tin Man & Scarecrow respectively
Last week we learned which actors have been added to the cast of NBC‘s upcoming live musical adaptation of The Wiz Live! in the roles of Dorothy and the Cowardly Lion as well as the roles of Glinda and Addaperle, the witches of Oz. Today we learn that actors Common, Ne-Yo and Elijah Kelley have also been added to the cast of The Wiz Live! Kelley will play the role of the Scarecrow (which is the role that Michael Jackson played in the movie version of the musical), Ne-Yo will play the Tin Man and Common will play the role of the Bouncer, who is the gatekeeper of the Emerald City of Oz. This latest round of casting news fills in the final blanks of the major characters in this production of The Wiz. More »
Beyoncé is OUT as Glinda the Good Witch
More casting news coming our way from NBC‘s forthcoming live musical production of The Wiz to share today … after rumors surfaced that Beyoncé was being courted for the role of Glinda, the Good Witch of the South in The Wiz Live! made the rounds last week, we learn today that Orange is the new Black actress Uzo Aduba has won the role. Additionally, we learn today that Glee actress Amber Riley has also been added to the cast of The Wiz Live! as Addaperle, the Good Witch of the North. Uzo and Amber‘s addition to the cast of The Wiz Live! follows yesterday’s news that Shanice Williams has been cast in the role of Dorothy and David Alan Grier has been cast as the Cowardly Lion, as well as last week’s news that Queen Latifah has been cast as The Wiz, Mary J. Blige has been cast as Evillene and Stephanie Mills has been cast as Auntie Em. The cast of The Wiz Live! is really starting to take shape now. More »
Shanice Williams is Dorothy, David Alan Grier is the Cowardly Lion
It was revealed last week that singer/actresses Queen Latifah and Mary J. Blige have been cast in the roles of The Wiz and Evillene respectively and Stephanie Mills (the actress who played Dorothy back in the ’70s in the original Broadway cast of The Wiz) has been cast as Aunt Em in NBC‘s upcoming televised musical production of The Wiz. At the time, we learned that producers were looking for an unknown actress to play the lead role of Dorothy in the music production, due to air this holiday season. Today we learn that producers have found their newcomer and have cast 18-year old Shanice Williams as Dorothy. Additionally, we learn today that funnyman David Alan Grier has been cast in the role of the Cowardly Lion … so, clearly, the cast of The Wiz Live! is shaping up to be a really amazing one! More »
Will Bey ease on down the road?
Yesterday we learned the exciting news that Queen Latifah and Mary J. Blige have been added to the cast of NBC‘s The Wiz Live! in the roles of The Wiz and Evillene, respectively. Today we hear that other big names are being talked about as possible castmembers in the forthcoming televised musical production … names like Beyoncé. At this point, I’d suggest holding off on getting too excited just yet but we hear today that Bey is being courted for the role of Glinda the Good Witch in The Wiz. We already know that producers are looking for a newcomer to play the lead role of Dorothy but I can see how producers might want to get a big name like Beyoncé to add star-power to the cast. HMMM. More »
Meet The Wiz herself and Evillene
Back in March, we learned the VERY EXCITING NEWS that NBC has selected the musical The Wiz as the production they will produce and air in December. Today we learn some really great casting news for The Wiz Live! Actress Stephanie Mills has been added to the cast as Aunt Em and singers Queen Latifah and Mary J. Blige have been added to the cast in the roles of The Wiz and Evillene, the Wicked Witch of the West. In the movie version of the musical, released back in 1978, The Wiz was played by Richard Pryor and Evillene was played by Mabel King. I am so damn excited by this entire production that I can barely breathe! I am LOVING this casting news so much! More »
"I assumed that nobody would ever have the open-mindedness to cast this character black"
In May we learned that Broadway actor Taye Diggs will be returning to the Great White Way this year as the next star to take the lead in the new production of Hedwig and the Angry Inch. In June, we got our first look at the actor in make-up for the role. Today, courtesy of The New York Times Magazine, we get an amazing behind the scenes look at Taye as he prepares to “transform” the role when he takes over next month. NYT photographer Ryan Pfluger was given access to rehearsals for the show and he expertly captures Diggs as he prepares for the role. Taye confesses that he assumed that they would never cast a Black man as Hedwig, which is something I think many people assumed. Personally, tho, I am so excited that he is going to become the new Hedwig becuase, OMG, he is going to KILL the role. Click through the gallery to see these amazing photos from the NYT and head HERE to read the article in full.
Rock Opera, actually
Now that Trent Reznor of Nine Inch Nails has got himself a Grammy Award and an Oscar it looks like he is making a serious play for attaining EGOT status (ie. an artist who has won an Emmy, Grammy, Oscar and Tony award). It has been revealed that Reznor has teamed up with author Chuck Palaniuk for a rock opera / musical theater adaptation of Fight Club. It seems that news of this forthcoming project hasn’t been officially released yet but Palaniuk just can’t help but share info about the project … and then quickly delete it from social media. Should this rock opera incarnation of Fight Club be a success, it could nab Reznor a Tony Award … which would mean he would only need to win an Emmy Award to achieve EGOT status … which would be very possible should his Year Zero TV project ever come to fruition. More »