I rather enjoyed it. I didn’t watch the previous live specials, so I didn’t know what to expect, but this wasn’t awful. The singing was quite competent, Common looked good in green, in fact that whole Emerald City sequence was pretty entertaining. I haven’t watched The Wiz since I was a kid and I forgot some of the songs were boring, but overall this live version was okay.
My favorite performances were Amber Riley and Uzo Aduba (even with the one note she was flat on). I’m glad that little dog stayed backstage for the whole thing.
We watched here. I really liked it. Apparently, the producers and production crew for this are going to be working on the Broadway revival next year. If they can pick up some of tonight’s stars (I’m guessing Shanice, Elijah and DAG (and maybe Stephanie) will go along…the pop stars not so much), and really do the casting right, it’s probably going to be a great production.
I really liked Ne-Yo as the Tin Man. I’m not familiar with his pop work, but he was great.
My Facebook feed has been buzzing with worry about Mary J. Blige. A lot of people thought she was going to be the weak link because her acting is sub-par, but I thought she was okay. A little bit out of her league compared to the rest of the cast, but better than a lot of people thought she’d be.
I wasn’t giving it my undivided attention but I did have it on and the parts I caught were really good. I had never seen any version of it but remembered my mom playing the sound track after she and my father had gone to see it on stage. Like piepie, I forgot that some of the songs are boring, but the visuals were great. I thought Mary J. Blige was. . . Mary J. Blige. I’ve never been a fan but I thought she did ok. Very surprising to hear the guy in the link say she *can’t *sing. I mean, it’s not my taste but that’s a little rough. And Alicia Keys can’t sing? Your man’s on crack.
Did your parents see the original stage production?
I gotta say I never really liked The Wiz (the movie) because I was a kid and it was boring and I didn’t appreciate the arts then. I should watch it again. I hope the ratings were good for this.
Oh yeah, ever since her debut it seems Alicia Keys is really trying to sing like she used to. I still enjoy her music and the others mentioned in that list. VSB is one of the better/best black culture sites out there. I was scandalized by that list, but realized he wasn’t wrong.
I saw Peter Pan. This was a far better production.
I saw the movie The Wiz. With one or two exceptions, this was a far better production. Michael Jackson’s performance was better IMHO in The Scarecrow’s Song, but the crows were pitiable. We DVR’d it and will watch it again sometime.
My favorite movie in the world is The Wiz. The one with Diana Ross and them (though I can take or leave Diana). I know I should be embarrassed to say that out loud, but it’s true. I can watch Michael Jackson dance with those crows all day long and not get bored.
I was thoroughly entertained last night. The costumes were wonderful, the special effects were awesome, and I LOVED the dancing. I was impressed by Shanice William and hope this launches her career. I can’t really say anything bad about anyone else’s performance, except that maybe David Alan Grier wasn’t the very best Lion in the world. I mean, normally the Lion cracks my shit up. But he only got a few chuckles out of me. He did a good job, though, and I thought his dance with the Poppies was pretty good.
My mother and I were talking about it today, and we both thought it was great that Dorothy wasn’t a skinny waif or light-skinned. Shanice is definitely cute, but not Hollywood cute. And we both liked that Uzo Aduba was Glenda, because she’s definitely not Hollywood cute and yet she still looked glamorous. And she can sing!
I talked about it with a few people at work, and I was the only one that noticed that the first good witch (blue haired girl from Glee) was a prostitute. That made me laugh. I also liked the gender-bending Wiz. Very relevant in these times.
I could tell Mary was nervous. Acting isn’t her strength, obviously. But she did good as Evilene! She had me convinced!
Snipped/bolding mine, but yasssss! I loved that most of the leads were as dark as me! To be honest, it’s not something that I noticed right away until I thought about it, but yeah. It’s nice to see.
My mom was pleasantly surprised by Uzo Aduba. She doesn’t watch OITNB and had no idea who she was or if she could sing, but she liked her a lot. Plus, she sang her favorite song from the play/movie. (Mom’s anecdote: when she was learning piano as a kid, well she was a teenager when the movie came out, she had to play “If You Believe”.)
Another yasss. And Amber Riley was supposed to be a prostitute? Hmm. I’ll have to rewatch it for that. Although, I did notice that Dorothy’s “mom” had that crack fiend vibe.
Jokes about Mary aside, I think she did really well.
I loved it–Dorothy was fantastic and The Wiz depends on a strong Dorothy. Would have preferred her to be made up a tiny bit younger (she looked 16 or so to me, I’d have preferred her looking more 13/14.*). And I loved her…spunk? sass? 'tude? Whatever the hep kids today are calling it. In the book, Dorothy kicked ass and took names (she snuffed the WW of the West because she was pissed at her–the witch tripped her–and not because she was just kind of a dumb klutz like in the MGM version), and this Dorothy kept that same spirit.
I loved the crows–these had menacing vibe which the movie crows didn’t. The scarecrow was good, but didn’t have the looseness that Bolger and Jackson had.
Speaking of vibes, did anyone else get a bit of a KKK vibe from the tornado dancers? (White robes with pointy white hats)? Loved their dance though.
Of the three secondary characters (Tin Woodsman/Scarecrow/Lion), the Lion stole the show. I loved the makeup and for once, he wasn’t played as a gay-sissy stereotype. He was a big, tough, man’s man–who was also a coward. I liked the lack of Burt Lahr limp wrists (which, in 1938 was ok, but today, not so much)
I did not get a hooker vibe from the Witch of the North. But I did get a crackhead vibe from mom.
One of the Winkies was a scary-good acrobat.
I loved that they got the original Dorothy from The Wiz (Stephanie Mills) to play Aunt Em. That was such a cool touch.
*Heh–on the other hand, given 40 year old +/- Diana Ross trying to play Dorothy in the movie, I shouldn’t gripe.
It appears the special did very well! I wonder if NBC sticks with this Live! thing if they’ll opt to do more diverse plays, or at least surround the project with competent people. I wouldn’t mind watching more of these if that was the case.
We recorded it and I finally watched this weekend. I loved it, thought it was great. The performance that I’ve gone back and watched a few more times is the Tin-man’s (Ne-yo) “What Would I Do if I Could Feel”. I find it very beautiful and touching. I loved the show, I think everyone involved should feel very proud of it.