Posted by | Ray Cornelius 

BroadwayWorld is reporting that Queen Latifah and Mary J. Blige are on board to star in NBC’s live musical version of The Wiz. Latifah will play “The Wiz” and Blige will star as “Evillene, The Wicked Witch of the West.”

Latifah’s role is being described as “the mysterious and powerful wizard who holds the keys to the Emerald City, but whose metamorphosis from ordinary to extraordinary is itself a hoax. She rose to her lofty position after being transported by accident to Oz in a hot air balloon during a snowstorm.”

Blige’s Evillene is being described as the “one who holds sway over the Winkies and the Winged Monkeys that do her bidding. She captures Dorothy and her friends to avenge the unintentional murder of her evil sister, Evvamean, and to get back the powerful silver slippers given to Dorothy by the Good Witch of the North.”

“We are so happy reuniting with Latifah,” said Craig Zadan and Neil Meron, who also produced NBC’s The Sound of Music and Peter Pan Live! “We’ve been friends for a long time and we’ve had quite a lot of success together. To see her play the iconic role of the Wiz and make it her own is going to be one of the joys of producing this event.”

The two singers will join previously announced Stephanie Mills, who will return to the show in the role of “Aunt ‘Em.” Famed choreographer, Fatima Robinson, will choreograph the dance moves for the musical which airs Dec. 3

The part of Dorothy has not been announced since the network is still holding auditions for the coveted role. It will be interesting to see, who is cast in the role of the friends—Scarecrow, Tin Man and Lion.

What do you think about this casting so far?

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