Queen Latifah, Mary J Blige hop aboard NBC’s ‘The Wiz Live’

29 Jul 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

‘The Wiz Live!’ now has its Wiz and Witch: Queen Latifah and Mary J. Blige.

While Latifah will star as the Wiz, the mysterious and powerful wizard ruling the Emerald City, Blige will take on the role of Evillene, the Wicked Witch of the West, who captures Dorothy and her friends to avenge her evil sister, Evvamean, and to get back Dorothy’s powerful silver slippers, E! Musical fans still have a few months before they have the chance to watch “The Wiz Live!” — the song-and-dance adaptation of “The Wizard of Oz” — but they’re already getting an idea of what’s to come thanks to some big casting news. Blige will star in the December production of “The Wiz.” It was previously announced that actress Stephanie Mills, who starred as Dorothy in the original 1975 Broadway production of “The Wiz,” will be portraying Auntie Em.

To see her play the iconic role of the Wiz and make it her own is going to be one of the joys of producing this event.” The production duo are also no strangers when it comes to small-screen musicals, as they also worked together on NBC’s 2013 production of “The Sound of Music Live!” Of course, the television event won’t be the first time the stage musical has come to the screen. Latifah’s musical past includes starring in 2002’s Chicago, for which she was nominated in the Best Supporting Actress category at the Academy Awards, and 2007’s Hairspray. Ratings for NBC’s 2014 production, “Peter Pan Live!,” were lower and actors Allison Williams and Christopher Walken, who headlined “Pan,” may not have had the drawing power of Underwood. In addition to Chicago, Latifah co-starred in Hairspray and the TV film Steel Magnolias — all of which were executive produced by Zadan and Meron. “We are so happy reuniting with Latifah,” said Zadan and Meron. “We’ve been friends for a long time and we’ve had quite a lot of success together.

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