Yep, 2015's holiday season will bring the third annual production of a live musical by NBC. The last two years brought us Carrie Underwood's The Sound Of Music and Allison Williams' Peter Pan with Christopher Walken. This next one will be pulled from yet another musical beloved by many. NBC will be putting on The Wiz , the take on L. Frank Baum's The Wonderful Wizard Of Oz whose big screen adaptation in 1978 starred legends Michael Jackson and Diana Ross.
NBC's first adventure into live musical production in 2013 with Sound Of Music didn't yield the best of reviews, but it did bring in stellar ratings and engage its audience rather intensely on Twitter. Their production of Peter Pan the second time around didn't yield ratings as high as the first, but it continued to be what I'll call a "Twitter event" and did respectively enough in the ratings while also bringing in better reviews than the first. So what's in store this time around? It was originally rumored to be The Music Man, but I'll admit I'm much more enthusiastic about the other option NBC's Bob Greenblatt recently brought up — namely, The Wiz. They made it official on Monday:
As long as NBC doesn't turn into a Hollywood parody by whitewashing this casting, I am all for this. As Chris Rovzar said on Twitter, "this is the best bad idea." Oh, and Cirque Du Soleil will be involved???
We're also in that sweet spot right now where we don't know the cast yet, and everyone knows that's the best part of these NBC live productions. My money's going on either Zandaya Coleman or KeKe Palmer landing the part — both are young talented women who can sing and for whom a part like this could have a big impact on their career if they impress this audience.
For reference, here's Palmer (who starred in the Broadway version of Cinderella) singing:
And Coleman singing:
In the past I've mainly looked forward to these events for the sheer Twitter of it all. This time, though? I just can't wait to see their Dorothy belt out this:
And everyone boogie to this:
Bring. It. On.
Image: Universal Studios