THE WIZ! The Guys On Updating The Show, New Music & Packing For The Ride!By Delaina Dixon | December 2, 2015 | Dish!, Entertainment
The Wiz Live! is only two days away! David Alan Grier, Elijah Kelly and Ne-Yo are starring in Thursday night’s live production. And they spilled a few secrets we had to share with you!
“I’m embarrassed to admit … when I first got cast, I started packing my clothes a month in advance,” says David, who plays the Cowardly Lion. “It’s a kid-like enthusiasm that I have for this project.” David adds there are no egos in the room, even with megastars Mary J. Blige and Queen Latifah as part of the production. “I’m impressed with the humbleness you need to be in the project,” David shares.
And DivaGals, get this: there is a new song in the production! Explains Elijah, who is the Scarecrow, “Kenny [Leon, the director] said there was never a song that brought the four friends together” at the end of act one “that if you look at each of your friends and if something goes down, whatever it is, I got you. It was a moment for Dorothy to say look inside yourself, whatever you need is already in there.” Ne-Yo and Elijah worked on the new composition. “He literally is a genius,” Elijah declares. “When the world hears it, it will become bigger than just a song. This is a moment in time in a legendary production that we’re blessed to be a part of.”
That’s not the only change, according to Ne-Yo, who becomes the Tin Woodman. “This is not based in the seventies; it’s based in 2015. It’s everything you know and love about The Wiz, only kicked up to now a little bit, that’s from the choreography and technology to even the lingo.”
But Ne-Yo assures us the show is still genuine. “We didn’t make it so modern that you don’t recognize it. We just brought it to where today’s generation will be able to watch it and adapt.”
Elijah concurs. “It still has to be classic. There’s no novelty in it. So when you see the Nae-Nae, it’s the way we implemented it that works.”
David sums it up best. “We’re going to bring life. The way we bring it . . . It will be on fleek.”
We’d expect nothing less! The Wiz Live! airs Thursday, Dec. 3 at 8 p.m. on NBC.
photo credit: NBC