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Update, 8/7: This bit of news has made us *that* much more excited for the newest adaptation of The Wiz: Uzo Aduba will be starring as Glinda the Good Witch, because everything is as it should be.
According to Essence (opens in new tab), Amber Riley of Glee will also be joining the cast, starring as the Good Witch of the North. (Technically Glinda is the Good Witch of the South, but ya know, Glinda!)
Actress Lena Horne played Glinda in the 1978 movie adaptation.
Just to recap: Mary J. Blige, Queen Latifah, Uzo Aduba, and Amber Riley are all cast THUS FAR. Who will be next? *Jumps up and down with excitement.*
Update, 8/4: Excuse me for mixing musicals here, but this bit of casting news from The Wiz is *such* a Cinderella story it can't be helped.
As it was announced on Today this morning, 18-year-old Shanice Williams has landed the part of Dorothy in NBC's live production, beating out hundreds of applicants. The network held a nationwide open casting call for an African-American woman with an "extraordinary voice" and a "youthful energy," in which candidates had to sing three songs from the original musical.
The Wiz will be Williams's first TV role.
Update, 7/30: Could it be? Mary J. Blige, Queen Latifah, and now...Beyoncé? That's right—the Queen B herself is reportedly in talks to star as Glinda the Good Witch in the musical adaptation of The Wiz.
While the casting has yet to be confirmed, it seems Bey is a top contender, according to E! (opens in new tab). But if she passes, there's another potential hopeful that is also being mentioned/is on the Short List—Orange is the New Black's Uzo Aduba (opens in new tab).
Honestly, this could be the musical of our dreams. For now, let's travel back to yesteryear, when Beyoncé performed "Home" from The Wiz in a talent competition when she was just seven.
Original story, 7/29: All the yeses—a live musical of The Wiz is coming to your screen in December, and heavy hitters Queen Latifah and Mary J. Blige have just joined up with the cast. We repeat: Queen Latifah and Mary J. Blige in The Wiz. Has the epicness sunk in yet?
The NBC production—which will air December 3—follows live musicals Peter Pan and the Sound of Music, which were eagerly anticipated and widely criticized in equal measure. Hey, it's hard to do a live musical, people. *former high school theater kids not in agreement*
Queen Latifah will play the role of the Wiz (was there any doubt?), while Blige will be the Wicked Witch of the West, reveals the Hollywood Reporter (opens in new tab). Stephanie Mills, who starred as Dorothy in the original Broadway production, will play Aunt Em.
No Dorothy yet—but we'll be back with an update the second we hear.
For a little taste of what's to come, revisit the 1978 movie version (starring Diana Ross and Michael Jackson) with this trailer:
Samantha Leal is the Deputy Editor at Well+Good, where she spends most of her day thinking of new ideas across platforms, bringing on new writers, overseeing the day-to-day of the website, and working with the awesome team to produce the best stories and packages. Before W+G, she was the Senior Web Editor for Marie Claire and the Deputy Editor for Latina.com, with bylines all over the internet. Graduating from the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University with a minor in African history, she’s written everything from travel guides to political op-eds to wine explainers (currently enrolled in the WSET program) to celebrity profiles. Find her online pretty much everywhere @samanthajoleal.
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