Wow, what an awesome show and such a wonderfully talented cast! I’ve heard tell that other live musicals on NBC hadn’t done very well. I wasn’t able to see those, so I cannot speak to whether that is true, but I will say I noticed many people planning to hate-watch The Wiz and make fun of it during live tweets, etc. Welp, that didn’t work out because it was so very good and very well put together.
I’ve always been a fan of the Wiz. I am still a little bit sore about losing the DVD I had of it while I was on deployment, but that’s neither here nor there. Despite being a fan, I wasn’t really here for this one at first, because I’d heard such crappy reviews about other similar productions of The Sound of Music and Peter Pan.
That all changed when I watched the special about the making of the production. This was just yesterday and that’s when I decided I really wanted to watch it. I am so glad I did. Shanice Williams, our new Dorothy has such a great voice and she did so well. I am so impressed after learning this was not only her first role, but her first real audition! How crazy is that. I also loved that Stephanie Mills, the original Dorothy on Broadway portrayed Aunt Em. Her voice is so powerful.
I am so tardy to the party on David Alan Grier. I had no idea he had a musical theater background. I only knew him from Wayans-related stuff and from one of my favorite movies, Boomerang. He has a great voice and was perfect in the role of the Lion.
Elijah Kelly is someone I had never heard of, though I know he was in Hairspray which I haven’t seen either. I consider myself to be a musical theatre fan and I am so failing tonight with these cast members. Either way, he was so energetic and upbeat and he killed his opening song, which is one of my favorites from The Wiz.
Ne-Yo! Ah! I’ve seen some hate on his accent but I liked it a lot and thought it was very endearing. His performance was great. Ne-Yo is one of those people you always forget about having mad dance skills. Then every time he cuts a rug, I’m like “Ooooohhhhhh yeeaaaah”. Very good.
We have to mention, Amber Riley, Uzo Aduba, Mary J. Blige and Queen Latifah. I have the same issue with Queen Latifah’s singing abilities that I do with Ne-Yo’s dancing abilities. I always forget about it and am pleasantly surprised when I come across it again. Common was pretty funny as the gatekeeper to Emerald City.
Speaking of which, I didn’t just get my life, I got my entire being when the characters got into Emerald City and we got to see all the voguing. They were serving Paris is Burning, ballroom realness! Sidenote: If anyone is planning an Emerald City themed party, please invite me!
And can we talk about all the natural hair in the show. Wow, gorge!
Special shoutout to the costume designer who was definitely the real MVP. Everyone looked so good.