Figuring both that the third time is a charm and "Empire" has shown them the way, the NBC network is mounting an ambitious live production of the musical "The Wiz" on Thursday, Dec 3. A lot of talented and famous people (we’ll let you decided who is which or both) are a part of it – Kenny Leon, Harvey Fierstein, Queen Latifah, Elijah Kelley, Ne-Yo, David Alan Grier, Mary J. Blige, and young newcomer Shanice Williams as Dorothy.
To that end, this week’s episode is a special one with Brandon, Rachel, Kareem, John, and special guest Donte (@itsdonte on Twitter) discussing the lineage of "The Wiz". This will take us from L. Frank Baum’s original 1900 children’s novel "The Wonderful Wizard of Oz", to the 1939 MGM Technicolor feature starring Judy Garland, to Disney’s century-long attempts to follow it up, to Ken Harper turning the story into "The Wiz" on Broadway in 1975, to Sidney Lumet and Joel Schumacher turning "The Wiz" into a highly polarizing (for the people on this show, at least) feature film in 1978.
You’ll learn how at least two of the stars of "The Wizard of Oz" nearly died for their craft, how "The Wiz" nearly opened and closed on the same night, how Quincy Jones hated the music that he had to produce for "The Wiz" feature film, and we’ll hopefully put an end to the rumor that Diana Ross’ "ageless" portrayal of Dorothy in the 1978 "The Wiz" was due to Berry Gordy producing it (it’s quite the opposite, actually). We also discuss the casting of the upcoming NBC special, our expectations for it, some of the creative decisions (is Fatima Robinson really about to have these folks Nae Nae and Quan across NBC’s stage?), and detail the differences between the three versions of "The Wiz": the original Broadway show, the film, and what they’ll be doing live on NBC. We want you to be informed and not rant-tweeting about the Good Witch of the North not being named "Miss One" and that 15-minute "you have to be seen in green" sequence being a lot different.
Check us out at soundcloud.com/say-something-nice-podcast and join in the conversation by sending your take to @btouch or @ssnpodcast on Twitter. You can also check us out at ssnpodcast.com
Check out Rachel’s art and products at rachelstewartjewelry.com.
04:26: L. Frank Baum and "The Wonderful Wizard of Oz" (1900)
11:56: MGM’s "The Wizard of Oz" (1939)
35:53: Disney’s Attempts at Oz Films (1940-2013)
44:36: "The Wiz" on Broadway (1975)
51:37: The Wiz" on Film (1978)
01:29:39: "The Wiz Live!" (2015) Cast and Crew
01:49:35: Expectations for "The Wiz Live!"/Differences Between Stage & Screen Versions
02:14:57: Catching Up with John
02:40:07: Post-Show: "The Making of The Wiz Live!" and Macy’s Parade Performance