I don’t know if you saw the NBC annual live production of the Wiz, or if you saw the insane tweets, but let me tell you the show was terribly terrific. I have read all the tweets and posts filled with complaints about The Wiz having an all black cast. What I find amazing if not absolutely appalling are the number of people who are walking around with computers in their pockets and they use them for nothing more that taking self-gratifying photos of food and of themselves doing stupid acts.
Nothing is more insipid than failing to understand that The Wiz is a lot older than they are.
The nearly three-hour television production attracted 11.5 million viewers, according to preliminary Nielsen figures. That’s up from last year’s Peter Pan Live!, which drew just 9.2 million, but well below 2013’s The Sound of Music Live!, which starred Carrie Underwood and drew a whopping 18.6 million. Among adults ages 18 to 49, Wiz won a 3.3 rating, up from a 2.4 for Pan but below Music’s 4.6.
The new fresh cast, featured Mary J. Blige as the Wicked Witch of the West, Queen Latifah as the Wiz, Uzo Aduba as Glinda. How could you not love it. The Cirque du Soliel dancers as the poppies. I want one of those suits. Vulture.com said the Cirque “… influences could be felt throughout the production design, with their soaring sets and psychedelic, candy-colored costumes. You felt it especially during the dance numbers where the poppy flowers waxed creepy and sexy and the Emerald City crowd was channeling Andy Warhol’s Factory and Harlem ball culture.”
The choreography was on point and updated by Fatima’s funky moves with the Tin Man dabbing, The crows doing the Nae-Nay and the Scarecrow doing the Stanky Leg. It was a beautiful tribute to black dance.
Amber Riley shined. Neo was terrific. Newcomer Shanice Williams was amazing.
As much as I loved the new versions, I still have a special place in my heart for the original. Nipsey, come slide some oil to me.