NBC scored big with the illustrious production of The Wiz Live! on Thursday evening (December 3), drawing in over 11 million viewers for the three-hour live extravaganza.
The production featured an all-black cast led by Queen Latifah, Ne-Yo, Mary J. Blige and new songbird Shanice Williams.
Although there was quite an uproar on Twitter days before the production aired on what some considered “racial casting,” #BlackTwitter came together last night with a great outpour of love, support, emotion and positive energy. And so did we.
Here, are REVOLT's ten favorite moments from the broadcast.
From the moment The Wiz Live! began, I was bursting with excitement, after all, the legendary Stephanie Mills was the first person to grace the stage. Mills starred as Dorothy in the original Tony award-winning Broadway musical, 40 years ago. It was only right to have her be a part of this iconic production, however, this time she played the role of Aunt Em. To no surprise she sang the house down, kicking things off right.
Stephanie Mills got this thing started. She's still got it!!! #TheWiz— Tyler Perry (@tylerperry) December 4, 2015
A Star Is Born
We were then introduced to Dorothy, played by Shanice Williams who #BlackTwitter received very well. From her charisma to her beautiful voice I enjoyed her taking me on the journey to Oz.
Good Girl Gone Funky
Once in Oz we met Addapearle, The Good Witch of the North, played by Amber Riley, who I have to say was my absolute favorite of the night. Riley’s soulful voice filled with extensive belting range gave me chills as she sang “He’s The Wiz.” She also made me laugh, as she added spunk and bubbly spark to her character. And let's not forget the munchkins, whose nifty costumes completely drew me in, adding to Addapearle’s quirkiness.
Smart, After All...
#BlackTwitter then eased on down the road with Dorothy where we then met the Scarecrow, played by the talented Elijah Kelley. Now, I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t nervous about how #BlackTwitter would receive Kelley. He had some large shoes to fill considering Michael Jackson played the role of the scarecrow in the 1978 motion picture. However, I think it’s very safe to say that Elijah not only held his own, but he killed it! I had several “yasss” moments during his “You Can’t Win” performance. Job well done, Elijah!
Not gonna lie, I just shed a tear thinking about how MJ would be proud of Elijah Kelly #TheWiz— Cherrelle (@relleunique) December 4, 2015
Don't Be Scurred
We then met the Tin Man played by Ne-Yo and the Cowardly Lion played by David Alan Grier. Both embodied the true essence of their characters. I thoroughly enjoyed Ne-Yo’s vocals during his “What Would I Do If I Could Feel?” performance, another vocal act that gave me chills. Nevertheless, I was shocked at how strong David Allen Grier’s vocals were. “Be A Lion” has been one of my favorite songs ever since I was a little girl and I can honestly say that I was pleased with Grier’s rendition. He made me laugh throughout the entire production, but I didn't expect anything less. I’ve known him to be an amazing actor and comedian and now I can add singer to that list.
Up next we have none other than the sexy pink poppies. Although I wasn’t a big fan of the choreography throughout the entire production, the poppies gave me LIFE! Their sexy pelvic thrusts matched with their undeniable sex appeal definitely reeled me in. #BlackTwitter definitely loved and appreciated them as well. I think I know what a lot of girls will be next year for Halloween.
We then vogue'd into the green gates of Emerald City where we found the sexiest gatekeeper alive, Common. #BlackTwitter compared him to a club bouncer which I found hilarious and the memes that were created within seconds had me in knots.
All Hail The Queen, Er, Wiz
Not long after we met the Queen, I mean the Wiz, played by the one and only Queen Latifah. It’s not a secret that Queen can blow! She let the world know that when she starred in the Broadway musical, Chicago. However one thing I did notice and appreciate was that all of Queen Latifah’s song selections were from the original Broadway musical.
I think we all know what happens next, The Wiz sends Dorothy and her friends to kill Evilene. The moment #BlackTwitter had been waiting for since the production began. Evilene was played by the soul singing, dancing, Mary J. Blige. Mary sure did own her spunk, as she made sure to add her signature dance to her “No Bad News” performance. Once she did that, #BlackTwitter went crazy! The gifs that were created were priceless. I think it’s safe to say, we love you Mary!
Crazy No More
A moment that shocked and amazed us all was the amazingly, enchanting entrance of Glinda the Good Witch, played by Broadway veteran, Uzo Aduba. #BlackTwitter saw a whole new side of Aduba who some only knew as Crazy Eyes on Orange Is The New Black. Aduba trained in classical voice for many years, and it showed during her performance last night. Brava, Uzo!
No Place Like Home
The Wiz isn’t over until Dorothy takes it “Home.” Shanice Williams sang throughout the musical but no song selection was as beautiful as the way she sang “Home.” She brought me and a lot of my fellow #BlackTwitter tweeters to tears.
Overall, The Wiz Live! made me proud. I was thoroughly entertained and I enjoyed the modern day feel and the many beautiful voices of the talented all-star cast. The production was truly #BlackExcellence at its finest!