For those who grew up in the 1970s, going to see The Wiz onstage at a local theater and watching The Wiz on TV starring Michael Jackson and Diana Ross was a rite of passage. The standard Wizard of Oz movie was a popular film that featured good witches and bad witches and Judy Garland following the yellow brick road. When The Wiz rolled around, it represented a hip African-American version of the same tale, but featured a tin man begging another through song to “slide some oil to me.” The bad witch had a human body part swinging from her hip as a purse.
Now, tweets about the cast of The Wiz Live are flowing into Twitter. The new NBC vehicle has added Common and Ne-Yo to the mix, as reported by the Chicago Sun Times. The announcement on Thursday about the addition of the musical artists has sent Twitter into a slight flurry of activity over the additions.
Stepping in to fill the role of the scarecrow in The Wiz Live, a role that Michael made famous in that updated version, is Elijah Kelley, as reported by Mashable. The 29-year-old Kelley made a name for himself starring in Lee Daniels’ film, The Butler.
Those searching for the musical via Ticketmaster should know that the The Wiz Live! airs Thursday, December 3, at 8 p.m. on NBC. Therefore, anticipation is high with these new cast announcements. However, fans will have to wait another few months to actually spy out the product.
Previously announced members of the cast for The Wiz Live include Queen Latifah and Mary J. Blige.
The expectations for The Wiz Live are certainly high now that such acting and musical powerhouse superstars have been added to the mix.
As reported by the Inquisitr, other “old school” nostalgic African-American themed entertainment that’s highly anticipated by viewers includes the movie Straight Outta Compton, which tracks the rise of the N.W.A. group. Pre-ticket sales placed that movie at the top slot for pre-order sales, as reported by Fandango.
[Image via NBC/The Wiz Live]