The Wiz Live is a highly-anticipated live musical event, starring an all African American cast that is scheduled to premiere on Thursday, December 3 on NBC. Just off the heels of The Sound Of Music Live and Peter Pan Live, The Wiz Live 2015 is sure to capture the hearts of its audience for many years to come. Expect to see an amazing all-star cast, including Shanice Williams as Dorothy, Mary J. Blige as Evillene-the Wicked Witch of the West, David Alan Grier as the Cowardly Lion, and the legendary Stephanie Mills as Auntie Em, according to the Internet Movie Database (IMDB). Filming for the 3-hour live production took place at Grumman Studios, which is located in Bethpage, Long Island, New York, The Wiz Live 2015.
It was reported back in August by eOnline that director Kenny Leon would be bringing the production to fruition this year. 2015's The Wiz Live is a remake of the 1978 musical film The Wiz, starring Michael Jackson and Diana Ross. And both productions are a remake of the original Wizard of Oz, which starred Judy Garland.
When it came to choosing the perfect 'Dorothy' for The Wiz Live, producers knew they needed to get someone who could sing and dance, but also someone who had a special light in their eyes. And director, Kenny Leon, saw that in newcomer Shanice Williams, according to the New York Post
Preview clips of The Wiz Live indicate that audiences are in for a real treat. Williams ' angelic voice is enough to leave you frozen in your tracks. Stephanie Powers and Shanice Williams had a wonderful chemistry during auditions, where they both came with a deep passion and commitment for making this story come alive. And audiences are looking forward to seeing Stephanie Mills again, whose voice--even at her current age--- is still powerful and majestic."We saw over 600 young women with a broad range of experience, but I was drawn to a specific light in Shanice's eye."
"I feel like I'm making history again. In 1975, I was 17 years old and doing the role and now I'm being asked to play Aunt Em. It's 40 years and it's the anniversary and what a better way to celebrate it. This is such a fabulous way to celebrate what we did 40 years ago."
Expect Something Spectacular
The excitement for The Wiz Live has been building since rumors first began swirling that it was in the works. Most of all the actors have said that they were especially excited to be a part of the show. Not only did they want to be a part of it, they needed to be a part of it. They've taken a classic and modernized it, and refreshed it in a positive way---adding in some of today's language and African American dances. Still, it is a show that everyone will be able to relate to--both young and old. Stephanie Mills shares these positive words about rehearsal, according to Black Film.
"It's so full of love with Ne-Yo and Elijah (Kelley) and Shanice (Williams). It's all love on set. It really is.() It's emotional because there's so much that went on when I was rehearsing and the trials and tribulations that The Wiz had to endure to get to Broadway back in 1975. It's amazing that it's here now. Ken Harper, who produced the original production, would be smiling now, along with Geoffrey Holder and Charlie Smalls. All three are no longer alive but I know that they are smiling."
The Wiz Live fans can expect to be left mesmerized by the all star cast with the best live performances on prime-time television to date. Not only are the heart stopping performances stellar, but the costumes are elaborate and fabulous, and the set is bursting forth with breathtaking colors and mind-blowing special effects.
The Wiz Live is a heartwarming stage production that the whole family should sit down and watch together. Get ready to click your heels together and ease on down the yellow brick road with the amazing cast of The Wiz Live, beginning at 8/7 central. Check out some of our other stories before you go.
[Image from The Wiz Live/Facebook]