There is rampant speculation that Beyoncé has been offered the role of Glinda the Good Witch in NBC’s upcoming live production of The Wiz! Although there is no official deal yet, this would add even more star power to the already dynamic cast.
Sources tell E! News that producers are also considering Uzo Aduba for the part. Emmy-nominated Aduba is an amazing vocalist and would be right at home on a Broadway-style sound stage. Before being cast as Crazy Eyes on Netflix’s “Orange is the New Black,” she was on Broadway, and starred in the revival of Godspell. She’s also classically trained if you didn’t know.
“The Wiz Live!” will premiere December 3 on NBC.
Two major cast members were announced this week with Mary J. Blige and Queen Latifah signing on to the production. Blige will play Evillene, the Wicked Witch of the West, while Latifah will be playing the infamous Wizard, a bold and creative choice. They will join the previously announced Stephanie Mills as Aunt Em.
Both performers are no strangers to musicals. Latifah was nominated for an Oscar in 2002 as Best Supporting Actress for her role in the movie,”Chicago,” and starred in the musical Hairspray in 2007. Blige is the winner of multiple Grammys and made an appearance in the film adaptation of the popular musical Rock of Ages.
Producers Craig Zadan and Neil Meron, who worked with Latifah on Hairspray and Steel Magnolias, told Entertainment Weekly, “We are so happy reuniting with Latifah. We’ve been friends for a long time and we’ve had quite a lot of success together. To see her play the iconic role of the Wiz and make it her own is going to be one of the joys of producing this event.”
The Wiz is adapted from The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum. Subsequently, Baum’s book was adapted as a stage musical with a book by William F. Brown, and music and lyrics by Charlie Smalls. The adaptation, which featured an all-black cast, debuted in October, 1974 at the Morris Mechanic Theatre in Baltimore. Starring Stephanie Mills as Dorthoy. It moved to Broadway’s Majestic Theatre on January, 1975, where it ran for four years and won seven Tonys, including best musical.