Where Is Toto In 'The Wiz Live!'? The Dog Didn't Seem To Make It To Oz
Not even a half hour into NBC's The Wiz Live! on Thursday night and the live musical production is impressing viewers with its unique costumes and awesome casting. But while Dorothy, the witches, Scarecrow, and the whole gang are there, someone else seems to be missing. The world is wondering: Where is Toto on The Wiz Live! ? The pup was present during the first scenes in Kansas, but the canine is sorely missed in this version of Oz. What gives? Update: Don't worry, when Dorothy made it back to Kansas at the end of The Wiz Live!, Toto was there to greet her.
According to The Wrap, Toto actually didn't make the trek with Dorothy in the original Broadway version of The Wiz (unlike in The Wizard of Oz, on which the musical is based), so The Wiz Live! will only feature the little guy in Kansas. Toto is played by an 11-year-old rescue pooch named Scooter in the live NBC production and trained by veteran Broadway dog trainer Bill Berloni. He also trained last year's Peter Pan Live! scene stealer Nana.
Berloni told The Wrap that the reason why the original The Wiz on Broadway didn't include Toto in Oz was because they didn't have a very good dog trainer. It's too bad, because The Wiz Live! has a pretty great trainer in Berloni, who is the subject of the Discovery Family reality show Wags To Riches and has pretty much trained every dog who has ever appeared on a Broadway stage.
Plus, Nana (played by a rescue named Bowdie) in Peter Pan Live! was so great. If you don't remember, let me refresh your memory: That fluffy doggie turned down a bed.
And the pup did it better than most humans, so given the opportunity, imagine how many great things Toto could've done in The Wiz Live! While I'm sad we won't get the chance to see Scooter (or his understudy Ralphie) ease on down the road, I'm excited this cute dog get some screentime at the beginning and at the end of the production.
Images: Paul Gilmore/NBC; Caroline Wurtzel/Bustle; Giphy