3:49pm PT by Lesley Goldberg
NBC's 'The Wiz' Enlists Queen Latifah, Mary J. Blige
NBC's live The Wiz has enlisted some musical heavy-hitters.
NBC's The Wiz, set for Thursday, Dec. 3, will again be executive produced by Sound of Music and Peter Pan duo Craig Zadan and Neil Meron, with Tony-winning director Kenny Leon attached to direct both the live event as well as the Broadway revival in 2016-17. Tony winner and Broadway icon Harvey Fierstein will contribute new material to the original book by William F. Brown and work alongside Zadan, Meron and Leon.
Latifah will portray the Wiz, while Blige is on board as Evillene, the Wicked Witch of the West. They join a cast that includes Stephanie Mills — who starred as Dorothy in the original Broadway production — as Aunt Em in NBC's live musical. A casting search is under way for the role of Dorothy.
Latifah's musical credits include Chicago and Hairspray, while Blige is a nine-time Grammy winner. The casting reunites Latifah with Zadan and Meron.