Posted by | Ray Cornelius
And then there were three…
NBC’s “The Wiz” has added pop superstar Ne-Yo, The Butler’s Elijah Kelley and Oscar-winner, Common to the cast of its live production according to THR. Ne-Yo will slide into the role of the Tinman, Kelley will play the Scarecrow and Common will portray the royal gatekeeper.
The guys join an all-star cast that already includes Queen Latifah as the ‘Wizard’ Mary J. Blige as ‘Evillene The Wicked Witch of the West,’ David Alan Grier as the ‘Cowardly Lion,’ Uzo Aduba as ‘Glinda the Good Witch of the South,’ Amber Riley as ‘Addaperle the Good Witch of the North,’ Stephanie Mills as ‘Aunt Em’ and newcomer Shanice Williams as ‘Dorothy.’ The show is directed by Kenny Leon and airs on NBC December 3.
In other related “WIZ” news, stars from the original 1975 Broadway show gathered last night for a special 40th anniversary performance at Summerstage in New York City’s Central Park. Andre’ De Shields and Dee Dee Bridgewater reprised their iconic roles as the ‘Wizard’ and ‘Glinda the Good Witch’ while Phylicia Rashad, who starred as a Munchkin and company member, served as the evenings’s host along with original choreographer, George Faison.
From the looks of several pics, De Shield wore his original costume from the show including his platform shoes and red & white cape. Also in attendance was dance legend, Carmen de Lavallade, who’s late husband Geoffrey Holder, served as the show’s original director and costume designer. He won a Tony Award for both positions.
Check out a video of De Shields performing “So You Wanted to Meet the Wizard” and photos below:
[youtube id=”44-s6oihvfY” width=”600″ height=”350″]
Ebony Jo-Ann, Andre’ De Shields, Dee Dee Bridgewater and George Faison
George Faison with Phylicia Rashad
The Friends – Dorothy, Tinman, Lion and Scarecrow
Andre’ De Shields with Carmen de Lavallade
Andre’ De Shield’s original costume from the show
The Wizard’s cape and platform shoes
Photo Credits: Lia Chang Photography