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Friday, August 7, 2015

Uzo Aduba and Amber Riley Will Play Good Witches in 'The Wiz Live!'

According to Shadow & Act, NBC's upcoming musical event The Wiz Live! has added "Orange Is the New Black" star Uzo Aduba, and "Glee's" Amber Riley to its cast. The pair have signed up to play two of the Good Witches, the network announced Thursday.  Aduba will play Glinda, the Good Witch of the South, while Riley will portray Addaperle, the Good Witch of the North.  They join newcomer Shanice Williams, who has been cast as Dorothy; David Alan Grier, who will play the Cowardly Lion; Queen Latifah stars as the Wiz; Mary J. Blige will play Evillene, the Wicked Witch of the West; and Stephanie Mills (who played Dorothy in the original Broadway production of “The Wiz”) will portray Auntie Em in NBC's December production.
“The Wiz Live!,” set to air on Thursday, Dec. 3.  It is adapted from “The Wonderful Wizard of Oz” by L. Frank Baum, with a book by William F. Brown, and music and lyrics by Charlie Smalls. The production opened on Broadway in 1975 at the Majestic Theatre and won seven Tonys, including Best Musical.  Craig Zadan and Neil Meron (“The Sound of Music Live!,” “Peter Pan Live!,” Oscar-winning “Chicago”) will executive produce. Kenny Leon (Tony winner, “A Raisin in the Sun”) is stage director and Matthew Diamond is TV director, with Harvey Fierstein (three-time Tony winner, “Torch Song Trilogy,” “Hairspray” and “La Cage aux Folles”) providing new written material.
Esteemed choreographer Fatima Robinson (“Dreamgirls,” “Ali”) is also on board, along with music producer Harvey Mason Jr. (“Dreamgirls, “Pitch Perfect 2”) and Stephen Oremus (“The Book of Mormon,” “Kinky Boots”) as music director, orchestrator and co-producer of the music.  “The Wiz Live!” is produced by Universal Television in association with Cirque Du Soleil Theatrical.
Sidebar: Can't wait to see this!

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