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Hey guys, Jana here,
NBC is attempting to bring a live musical to the airwaves, yet again. ‘The Sound of Music‘ brought in a singing heavyweight with the wide-eyed Carrie Underwood as Maria, then they attempted a second musical with the absolute shit-show that was ‘Peter Pan‘. Seriously Christopher Walken as a singing Captain Hook? Did no one pay attention to the screen-test?! Next for the peacock is ‘The Wiz‘.
You read that right, ‘The Wizard of Oz‘ re-told with a jiving disco feel will be the next live musical for NBC. The production will be undertaken in cooperation with an unlikely partner though, Cirque du Soleil. Cirque’s theatrical division will co-produce the live event and then present the final product as a Broadway revival for the 2016-2017 season.
Up for contention this year as a possible choice for the yearly musical, besides ‘The Wiz‘ was ‘The Music Man‘ which seems a little over-done. NBC has created a format that is being followed by Fox when they present their live broadcast of ‘Grease‘ with Vanessa Hudgens and Julianne Hough. NBC isn’t stopping with a yearly musical, they’re prepping a live telecast of Aaron Sorkin’s ‘A Few Good Men‘, as well.
‘The Wiz‘ follows the story we all know from Oz, but the largely vanilla numbers that Judy Garland and company made famous are replaced with titles that have a dash of soul thrown in on songs like “Ease on Down the Road” and “Home“. The show premiered on The Great White Way in 1975 and won seven Tony Awards including the coveted Best Musical. Then who can forget the 1978 film adaptation that starred Diana Ross, Michael Jackson and Lena Horne? The show will debut on December 3 and will be directed by Kenny Leon.