Who Did 'The Wiz Live' Costumes? An Interesting Team Brought The Amazing Characters To Life
In between being dazzled by the fact that it was so much better than The Sound of Music Live and Peter Pan Live!, one question that never left my mind was: who did the costumes for The Wiz Live! ? Because they were uh-MAY-zing. Maybe my favorite part of the whole show, which is saying a lot, because everybody killed it. (Now that's what I call live singing, NBC. Let's have that be the bar from now on.) It seemed like every new character who came onscreen, from Ne-Yo as the Tin Man, to David Alan Grier as the Cowardly Lion, to Queen Latifah as the Wiz, had a more elaborate and impressive costume and make-up set-up than the last. Everything was perfect for the characters, the intricacy showed up well on camera, and, in some cases, there were techniques and looks I'd never seen before. Standing ovations all around, seriously. I got my mind blown.
So who was responsible for all this magic? Turns out, just three people: husband-and-wife team Dave and Lou Elsey on makeup, and Paul Tazewell on costumes. All three of them, but especially the Elseys, had the challenge of creating looks that were detailed enough for camera, but that would stay in place for the three-hour live broadcast. That sounds next-to impossible to me, but they all delivered admirably. By which I mean I audibly gasped when they started lowering Uzo Aduba from the ceiling, and I got a look at that dress. I think my floor is permanently dinged from my jaw hitting it.
COME ON. There's light coming from like... inside it, somehow. How am I supposed to deal with that? Or with the absurd amount of detail that went into keeping me from being able to tell where Ne-Yo stops and his Tin Man costume begins?
Just absurd. But not all that surprising, turns out, as both the Elseys and Tazewell have a crazy amount of experience and accolades in the area. Lou Elsey has worked on Broadway for the show Side Show, Dave Elsey has an Oscar for Best Makeup for his work on the 2011 film The Wolfman, and Tazewell has five Tony nominations for costuming, and also designed the costumes for the current Broadway smash hit Hamilton. An embarrassment of riches.
So excellent work all around, and kudos to the team that brought these talented designers on-board. They really took an already-great show to the next level, and made a fan of me for life!
Images: NBC; Giphy (2)