'The Wiz' Live Delivers More Than Expected

12.04.2015

 
Photo cred: nbc.com

(Disclaimer: This is a written review from someone who is a true fan of the original motion picture The Wiz from 1978.)


Where do I start?
I admit I was very skeptical when I saw that they were doing a live production casting stars to play the parts of some legendary stars who played the original parts. Very big shoes to fill playing characters that Michael Jackson, Dianna Ross, Nipsy Russel, Ted Ross and Richard Pryor killed in the motion picture. Also don't know if many know that Quincy Jones did the music production But I soon realized it was a tad different and more an adaptation of the Broadway production. 

I tried to go into this honestly with high expectations and I believe those were met partially. Nothing will ever top the original motion picture in my mind though. Rest in Peace to all the cast Michael Jackson (Scarecrow), Lena Horne (Glenda The Good), Ted Ross (Cowardly Lion), Nipsy Russell (Tinman), Richard Pryor (The Wiz), Mabel King (Evilene), Thelma Carpenter(Miss One).

Last night, what I witnessed was a wonderful production of The Wiz. I really didn't like the new rendition of the characters outfits that I saw before hand, but it was awesome once I saw it on my TV screen. 


Musical Numbers
The musical numbers were a bit remixed from the original tunes, and there was even a new song written by Elijah Kelly that I enjoyed. The characters singing voices were on point all in all . 

Stephanie Mills who plays Aunt Em in this production was Dorothy in the original Broadway production in 1975. Dorothy's voice I was not a fan of for this role, but still thought that she did a great job. Glee star, Amber Riley sang her heart out as Addaperle and this was to be expected. Unexpected, wonderful singing performance by Uzo Aduba, playing the Good Witch was spectacular. Who knew crazy eyes could blow like that? I did! I knew she sang opera from her interview on The View. She looked beautiful in that costume as well.


Photo cred: people.com



Favorite Characters
I'm not sure I can pick a favorite character for this production.If I had to though, I'd choose Elijah Kelly, he did his thing as the Scarecrow. The humor in his lines had me rollin'. "I'm collecting cents to buy some sense", ha classic! Did anyone catch those?

Singer/Producer Ne-Yo, as the Tinman was also great with singing and dancing. But that horrible accent his character had him doing need to go.

The vibrant colors used for the munchkin costumes and Poppy girl costumes gave me life. I am pretty sure I am going to be a Poppy girl for Halloween next year. 


Photo cred: mashable.com

Other Thoughts On The Wiz Live
I did find that talking Wiz head a bit creepy. Did anyone else think so? I was hoping I didn't have nightmares about it last night!

Love Queen Latifah and Mary J. Blige, but some of the lines I think it was a bit of a stretch. Convincible in the character they were portraying but a stretch. Obviously, they chose Mary for her voice, which is not excellent. Her part as Evilene though I felt was lacking a bit of wickedness. I kept wondering where the big toilet throne was? They just had her poof disappear instead of melt. The wicked witch always melts! 

Overall, the theatrical effects they had were great too.

Bravo to everyone who was in this. I could go on and on about this, but I won't.

I think on a 5-star rating system I'd give it 3 1/2 stars. 

Check out my live tweets from last night on my timeline @NicoleAlicia2 !


Afterthoughts:
I wasn't even born when the original Broadway production of The Wiz was on stage in '75, nor was I here when the original movie came in theatres in 1978. However, it was this piece of history that my mother passed on to me at a very early age. That very first viewing of the movie when I was about 5 or 6 that has stuck with me forever. It is a story I fall in love with over and over.I'm not really a musical fan but this imprinted on my heart and soul. 

I'm not exactly what it is about the movie that I love. I've tried to pinpoint it down and still can't. Maybe it was Michael Jackson hitting those high notes on "You Can't Win", maybe it was Diana Ross singing "Home"? It will always be one of my all time favorite movies that I watch over and over.


My personal collection:Vinyl 12' record soundtrack, CD soundtrack and DVD motion picture!



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