More casting for The Wiz Live!, broadcasting from NBC on Thursday December 3.
Queen Latifah and Mary J. Blige have been added to the cast of NBC’s upcoming holiday musical production of “The Wiz Live!,” set for Thursday, Dec. 3.
Queen Latifah stars as the Wiz, the mysterious and powerful wizard who holds the keys to the Emerald City, but whose metamorphosis from ordinary to extraordinary is itself a hoax. She rose to her lofty position after being transported by accident to Oz in a hot air balloon during a snowstorm.
Mary J. Blige will play Evillene, the Wicked Witch of the West, who holds sway over the Winkies and the Winged Monkeys that do her bidding. She captures Dorothy and her friends to avenge the unintentional murder of her evil sister, Evvamean, and to get back the powerful silver slippers given to Dorothy by the Good Witch of the North.
Stephanie Mills was previously announced to portray Auntie Em in The Wiz Live! Mills is best known to many for playing Dorothy in the original Broadway production of “The Wiz.”
As an actress, Blige began her career on The Jamie Foxx Show and has been featured on past hits such as Entourage and most recently Empire and Blackish. She also co-starred in the Lifetime film Betty and Coretta, and the 2012 feature film Rock of Ages.
Queen Latifah is a Golden Globe, Grammy and Screen Actors Guild Award winner, as well as having earned Emmy and Oscar nominations.
She scored her second career Emmy nomination as the title character in the critically acclaimed HBO biopic Bessie as legendary blues singer Bessie Smith. On the film side, Queen Latifah received an Academy Award nomination and earned SAG win as part of the cast for her role as Matron Mama Morton in the Oscar-winning film Chicago.
In addition to Chicago, Queen Latifah also co-starred in Hairspray and the TV film Steel Magnolias, all of which were executive produced by The Wiz Live! producers, Craig Zadan and Neil Meron. The production marks a reunion between the actress and producers.