Tag: “The Wiz”

Uzo Aduba and Amber Riley join NBC’s “The Wiz Live!”

Uzo Aduba (l) and Amber Riley (r) join the cast of NBC's "The Wiz" (Photo via eonline.com)
Uzo Aduba (l) and Amber Riley (r) join the cast of NBC’s “The Wiz” (Photo via eonline.com)

It looks like Uzo Aduba and Amber Riley are going to be playing sisters on NBC’s The Wiz Live!

Aduba will be playing Glinda the Good Witch, and Riley will be playing Addaperle, the Good Witch of the North and Glinda’s sister.

“We are so happy to welcome two actors we’ve admired and wanted so much to work with,” said executive producers Craig Zadan and Neil Meron in a statement. “We look forward to showcasing the amazing musical talents of Amber and we are eager to introduce Uzo’s remarkable singing voice for those who know her solely as an extraordinary dramatic actress.”

These two stars join the already glamorous cast, which includes Queen Latifah, Mary J. Blige, David Alan Grier and rising star Shanice Williams.

The Wiz Live! airs on Thursday, December 3 on NBC.

article via thegrio.com

Mary J. Blige & Queen Latifah Join the Cast of NBC’s “The Wiz”

Queen Latifah and Mary J. Blige join The Wiz

When it was first announced that NBC would remake the 1978 cult classic The Wiz, folks were admittedly nervous. After all, the network’s other production, the Sound of Music, was roundly criticized by fans. But after NBC scored Stephanie Mills–who starred in the original Broadway production–to play Auntie Em, people began to relax. Now, the latest casting news about The Wiz has given fans even more hope.

Tuesday, NBC announced Queen Latifah and Mary J. Blige have signed on to the Wiz. Blige will play Evillene, the Wicked Witch of the West, and Latifah will assume the role of the Wiz.

While it still remains to be seen who will play Dorothy, the addition of Latifah and Blige will no-doubt get viewers to tune in when the Wiz premieres December 3.

article via clutchmagonline.com

Stephanie Mills Returning to “The Wiz” for NBC’s Live Broadcast this December

Stephanie Mills

Stephanie Mills will ease on down to NBC’s upcoming musical adaptation of “The Wiz,” itself an African American musical adaptation of “The Wonderful Wizard of Oz.”

Mills played Dorothy in Broadway’s “The Wiz” in 1975 and in a 1984 revival, but will portray Aunti Em in NBC’s live broadcast of the play. The network is looking to find a newcomer to play Dorothy.

Stephanie Mills in The Wiz on Broadway

NBC announced in March that “The Wiz” would follow NBC’s previous live musical productions “The Sound of Music” and “Peter Pan.” But “The Wiz” will be the first to be co-produced by Cirque du Soleil’s new stage theatrical division, which will also help adapt the show for the Broadway stage.

The announcement was reportedly made at the Peacock network’s New York upfronts, and was later shared on Twitter by executive producer Craig Zadan.

The production will air on Dec. 3, with plans to bring it to the Broadway in the 2016-17 season.

article via eurweb.com

“The Wiz” Lives on NBC this December as Live Musical Event

b_p_TheWizAccording to Variety.com, NBC has announced it will make its next live musical television event a remake of the 1975 Tony Award-winner “The Wiz.” The remake will air on December 3.

Opening in 1975, “The Wiz” ran for four years on Broadway and won seven Tonys, including best musical. It retells the classic story of “The Wizard of Oz” in an African-American context.

In 1978, the musical was adapted into a movie produced by Motown and starring Diana Ross, Michael Jackson, Nipsey Russell and original Broadway cast member Ted Ross. NBC’s announcement of the holiday television event comes at a time when broadcast networks are setting more diversified roles and casting more and more actors of color on TV, following the success of Fox’s “Empire” and ABC’s “How to Get Away With Murder,” among other series.

the wiz nbc musical
Cast of the 1978 “The Wiz” Movie (UNIVERSAL)

“The Wiz” marks NBC’s third such production, following the success of “The Sound of Music Live!,” starring Carrie Underwood, and “Peter Pan Live!,” starring Allison Williams as the title character.

“The Wiz” will be co-produced by Cirque du Soleil’s new stage theatrical division. After the television event, the musical will make its Broadway revival for the 2016-17 season, also presented by Cirque du Soleil.

Casting for both projects has yet to be announced. Continue reading ““The Wiz” Lives on NBC this December as Live Musical Event”

R.I.P. Tony-Award Winning Dancer, Actor and Artist Geoffrey Holder

Geoffrey Holder, the dancer, choreographer, actor, composer, designer and painter who used his manifold talents to infuse the arts with the flavor of his native West Indies and to put a singular stamp on the American cultural scene, not least with his outsize personality, died on Sunday in Manhattan. He was 84.

Charles M. Mirotznik, a spokesman for the family, said the cause was complications of pneumonia. Few cultural figures of the last half of the 20th century were as multifaceted as Mr. Holder, and few had a public presence as unmistakable as his, with his gleaming pate atop a 6-foot-6 frame, full-bodied laugh and bassoon of a voice laced with the lilting cadences of the Caribbean.

Mr. Holder directed a dance troupe from his native Trinidad and Tobago, danced on Broadway and at the Metropolitan Opera and won Tony Awards in 1975 for direction of a musical and costume design for “The Wiz,” a rollicking, all-black version of “The Wizard of Oz.”

His choreography was in the repertory of the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater and the Dance Theater of Harlem. He acted onstage and in films and was an accomplished painter, photographer and sculptor whose works have been shown in galleries and museums. He published a cookbook.

Mr. Holder acknowledged that he achieved his widest celebrity as the jolly, white-suited television pitchman for 7Up in the 1970s and ’80s, when in a run of commercials, always in tropical settings, he happily endorsed the soft-drink as an “absolutely maaarvelous” alternative to Coca-Cola — or “the Un-Cola,” as the ads put it.

Long afterward, white suit or no, he would stop pedestrian traffic and draw stares at restaurants. He even good-naturedly alluded to the TV spots in accepting his Tony for directing, using their signature line “Just try making something like that out of a cola nut.”

Continue reading “R.I.P. Tony-Award Winning Dancer, Actor and Artist Geoffrey Holder”