The Wiz Live! – NBC – 2 hours 45 minutes
Dorothy, after losing her parents, doesn’t quite feel at home \ with her Aunt Em. Feeling homesick and along, she wonders and gets caught in a tornado and dropped in Oz, killing the Wicked Witch of the East. The Munchkins of Munchkinland celebrate the death of the Wicked Witch of the East, but warn Dorothy that her sister, the Wicked Witch of the West, would be looking for Dorothy to seek revenge. In fear, Dorothy wants to go home, but that can only be done with the help of the Wizard of Oz. Dorothy must follow the yellow brick road to Emerald City to meet the Wiz. But with all journeys, it is never a smooth trip with poppies, crows, and strange friends along the way.
This live theatrical production was a mix of the Judy Garland’s Wizard of Oz and the Stephanie Mills’ The Wiz. It mixed the Garland’s story with Mills’ songs with ease. The costumes were elaborate creating an unrecognizable David Alan Grier as the Lion. And the make-up, from Queen Latifah to Ne-Yo, was flawless. Cirque du Soleil brought their acrobatic and dance moves to bring the tornado and crows to life. The monitors helped create the distance of the Emerald City and merged seamlessly with the stage design and props. Often, you forget you were watching a live performance because every line, step, and song ran smoothly. In order to connect with the younger audience, they used current technology, slang, and dance steps. Shanice Williams, David Alan Grier, and Uzo Aduba gave show stopping performances that left you in awe of their unknown and/or forgotten talents. The only hindrance is outdated slang (i.e. swagger or conversate). The Wiz is worth seeing again.
I give it 4.5 out of 5 stars
But first, I got me a lion to filet – The Wicked Witch of the West
Sometimes, the most beautiful things, are the most dangerous – A Munchkin
Home is a place you earn – Aunt Em
Click here to purchase The Wiz Live! at Amazon.com
Click here to purchase The Wiz LIVE! Original Soundtrack at Amazon.com
Click here to purchase the 1978 classic The Wiz at Amazon.com
Click here to purchase the 1978 classic The Wiz: Original Soundtrack at Amazon.com
Click here to purchase The Wizard of Oz: 75th Anniversary Edition at Amazon.com
Click here to purchase The Wizard Of Oz: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack at Amazon.com (FTC Affiliate Disclaimer)