In less than a month, NBC will air its third annual live musical event. But unlike earnest old-fashioned classics The Sound Of Music and Peter Pan, NBC is going slightly more modern for its third outing. The first trailer for The Wiz Live! highlights the show’s contemporary sensibility as Dorothy (Shanice Williams) eases on down the yellow brick road in sneakers and a jean jacket.
In addition to showing off Williams’ Dorothy, Elijah Kelley’s Scarecrow, David Alan Grier’s Cowardly Lion, and Ne-Yo’s Tin-Man, the trailer highlights the famous faces who make up the show’s supporting cast, including Queen Latifah, Mary J. Blige, Common, and Uzo Aduba. It’s a far more star-studded affair than either The Sound Of Music or Peter Pan, and it’s nice that after two musicals with predominantly white casts, NBC is mixing things up with an all-black ensemble.
And while Twitter will no doubt still find plenty to snark about when The Wiz Live! airs on December 3, at least they’ll be snarking about something that was written after Eisenhower left office.