NBC has given us all another reason to live for live-tweet with the announcement of their latest live musical extravaganza. This one is sure to blow Peter Pan LIVE! out of the water (sorry, Hook) thanks to its funked up fantasy and acrobatic, hallucinatory co-conspirators. In a partnership with Cirque Du Soleil, the peacock network will ease on down (ease on down!) the road with a live stating of The Wiz this December 2015.
An adaptation of the 1975 Broadway musical (later turned into a 1978 film) of the same name, The Wiz was an inspired take on The Wizard of Oz, told from the point of view of the African American experience. And it was far from a cheap knock-off: the film iteration starred a veritable smorgasbord of talents — Diana Ross, Michael Jackson, Richard Pryor, Lena Horne, and Mabel King. It was equal parts unsettling and funky, and a delightfully strange experience for, say, a young girl with a love of The Jackson 5 and all things Motown.
But what makes this all extra-exciting are the subsequent plans and planners. Teaming up with Cirque Du Soleil to no doubt up the production and surreality ante, NBC’s production of The Wiz will then become a Broadway revival during the 2016-17 NYC theater season.
According to Deadline, Craig Zadan and Neil Meron will executive produce the Kenny Leon-directed staging both the revival and television production in collaboration with the one and only Harvey Fierstein (all of whom are highly impressive Tony Award winners). Fingers crossed Fierstein takes over the role of Evillene, yes?
What do you think of the announcement? Have a favorite moment from The Wiz? Any dream castings? Let us hear it in the comments.