Where To Get 'The Wiz Live!' Soundtrack To Keep The Music Going After Dorothy Finds Her Way Home
This year's NBC holiday musical extravaganza is off to see the Wizard with a star-studded cast in The Wiz Live!, which will indeed air live on Thursday night. The incredible cast includes Ne-Yo, Common, Queen Latifah, Elijah Kelley, Mary J. Blige, Uzo Aduba, David Alan Grier, and newcomer Shanice Williams as Dorothy. So where can you get The Wiz Live! soundtrack, and listen to those amazing voices sing their hearts out on repeat?
The song "Home" by Williams has already been released as a single that you can purchase on iTunes or stream on Spotify. However, you'll have to wait for the rest of the soundtrack, as it will be released for both download and streaming on Dec. 11. If you want to make sure you get your Wiz Live! fix as soon as possible, you can currently pre-order the soundtrack for $10.99 on iTunes and start listening the moment it's released.
The Wiz Live! will be an on-screen version of the 1975 Tony Award-winning Broadway musical, which is a modern African-American retelling of The Wizard of Oz. It is also NBC's third annual live musical, following last year's Peter Pan Live! starring Allison Williams and 2013's The Sound of Music Live! starring Carrie Underwood. According to Deadline, the producer of the Dreamgirls soundtrack, Harvey Mason Jr. — who has also worked with Justin Timberlake and Usher — is in charge of The Wiz Live! soundtrack. "It’s not going to sound like Broadway pit band music," executive producer Craig Zadan told Deadline. "The influence comes with the way music is produced for R&B albums, which starts with rhythm tracks. And that’s what he specializes in."
Here's why should you jump at the chance to stream The Wiz Live! soundtrack as soon as it's released on Dec. 11.
You'll Be Humming The Songs Long After The Final Credits
Do you have "Ease On Down The Road" stuck in your head after all those NBC commercials? I know I do. If that's any indication, viewers will humming so many songs after The Wiz Live! airs on Thursday night.
Williams Has An Incredible Voice
This is the 19-year-old singer's very first professional role, which she landed during a long audition process, as she explained in the recent The Making of The Wiz Live! special. Give a listen to "Home" (above with Stephanie Mills, the original Dorothy who is playing Auntie Em in NBC's adaptation) and you'll agree she's a star on the rise.
The Musical Plans To Transfer To Broadway In 2016
According to the New York Times, this production will end up on Broadway next year — with the same design, costuming, choreography, and Cirque du Soleil acrobats (for real). Be ahead of the curve and get acquainted with the songs now.
It Features A New Song By Ne-Yo
Fans of the original musical will notice a brand new song during The Wiz Live! on Thursday night. It's called "We Got It" and it was co-written by Ne-Yo, Mason, and Stephen Oremus with Elijah Kelley. You'll wanna check it out.
The Songs Are Personal Favorites Of The Stars
According to interviews with the New York Times, the classic musical inspired both Queen Latifah and Ne-Yo to pursue their singing careers. The Wiz was the first Broadway show Latifah saw and she even got to sing "Home" during her seventh-grade production of the musical. "That was my first standing ovation," she told the New York Times. "It was life-changing. I’m like, OK, I can do this again."
For Ne-Yo, he grew up watching the musical with his family. "I can see myself in these characters," he told the newspaper. "I wanted to be a part of this, no matter what. Like I didn’t care, I’ll sweep. It’s our responsibility to bring this story to the next generation."
The Musical Is Feminist
In the original Wizard of Oz, Dorothy is the victim of a tornado swirling into her life and sending her into an unexpected journey. But The Wiz Live! lets Dorothy drive her own journey, according to The Hollywood Reporter. The NBC version of the musical — with a book revised by Harvey Fierstein and director Kenny Leon — will have Dorothy move from Omaha to Kansas after her parents' death, where she has trouble fitting in.
"I have her want to go home, and her aunt says, 'There's nothing but an empty house there, baby. This is your home. But there's a storm coming, and as much as I love you, and as much as I know what's right for you, I can't stop you the rest of your life. You're gonna have to figure this out for yourself,' " Fierstein told The Hollywood Reporter.
In addition, The Wiz Live!'s Wiz (aka The Wizard) is a woman, played by Latifah, and Leon shared the significance of this with The Hollywood Reporter. "All of the women in this story, they make their own decisions in collaboration with men, but the men are not speaking for them, and that’s the way it should be anyway."
Images: Virginia Sherwood (2), Paul Gilmore/NBC