…Ease On Down the Road
It would seem that the third time’s a charm for NBC’s annual live musical experiment. Last night’s performance of “The Wiz Live!” was by far the best production to date.
With the exception of a few awkward camera angles and a brief cameo appearance from one of the cameras early on, they pulled it off fairly flawlessly.
Wise decisions were made all around regarding casting, costumes, and bringing in Cirque de Soleil.
New comer, Shanice Williams as Dorothy, started off a little rocky (probably nerves), but finished strong with a heart wrenching performance of “Home.”
It also helped that she was backed up by a stellar cast of professionals. Elijah Kelley (Scarecrow), Ne-Yo (Tin Man), and David Alan Grier (Cowardly Lion) were all perfection. Mary J. Blige as the wicked witch, Evillene, also had a surprisingly epic performance. Not so surprisingly, Queen Latifah as the Wiz was her usual amazing self.
Plus, I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the fantastic ensemble. They were phenomenal.
Now, I won’t pretend the show was perfect. A lot of the dialogue lagged, and for whatever reason the set design corners were cut in Munchkinland. Thankfully, the slinky munchkin costumes somewhat distracted from the lack of scenery.
Also, there was a distracting lack of Toto on the yellow brick road. Seriously, we were all very concerned. There was even hashtags #WheresToto #FreeToto.
Still, in the end “The Wiz Live!” did what a musical is supposed to do. It entertained.
…just for fun: