Ease on down the road: Way before Wicked, The Wiz reinvented children's classic on Broadway. The star-studded live American telecast of the soul and R&B take is the next free-to-view stream on The Shows Must Go On YouTube channel.
Last weekend’s broadcast of Peter Pan Live! was postponed, in solidarity with #GeorgeFloydProtests in the US and around the world, but the free-to-view YouTube Channel The Shows Must Go On returns this weekend and continues its theatre lockdown schedule with another ‘live’ television broadcast of a Broadway musical, The Wiz Live!, which aired during the 2015 Christmas season on American’s NBC channel.
For 48 hours only in the UK from 7pm this Friday 12 June 2020, audiences can watch the show for free online.
With a book by William F Brown and music and lyrics by Charlie Smalls and others, The Wiz is a soul and R&B reinterpretation of on L Frank Baum’s classic tale from The Wonderful Wizard Of Oz. After a tryout in Baltimore, it premiered on Broadway in 1975 and went on to win eight Tony Awards, including Best Musical, and run for four years.
The Wiz Live! features a star-studded cast of performers and the awe-inspiring Cirque du Soleil Theatrical. Whisked away from home by a tornado, young Dorothy finds herself transported to the magical Land of Oz, where she sets off on a quest to meet the powerful Wizard and find her way back home. Crossing paths with enchanting friends and wicked foes, Dorothy’s journey is a timeless tale about friendship, courage and learning to believe in oneself.
Shanice Williams is Dorothy alongside Elijah Kelley, Ne-Yo and David Alan Grier as Scarecrow, Tin-Man and Cowardly Lion respectively. Also featured are Mary J Blige as the Wicked Witch of the West, Amber Riley as the Good Witch of the North, Uzo Aduba as the Good Witch of the South and Queen Latifah as The Wiz.
Viewers of The Wiz Live! will have the opportunity to make charitable donations to the NAACP. The mission of the NAACP is to secure the political, educational, social, and economic equality of rights in order to eliminate race-based discrimination and ensure the health and well-being of all persons.
About The Shows Must Go On
The Shows Must Go On YouTube channel, presented by Universal, provides musical theatre lovers with a West End and Broadway experience in their own homes, online for free during the coronavirus crisis while theatres around the world are dark. Alongside the full-length shows, clips of famous performances and behind-the-scenes footage are uploaded regularly to the channel.
The first six screenings showcased a series of Andrew Lloyd Webber works – Joseph and the Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat (starring Donny Osmond), Jesus Christ Superstar, The Phantom of the Opera, Love Never Dies, Lloyd Webber’s 50th birthday concert at the Royal Albert Hall, By Jeeves and Cats (starring Elaine Paige) – which has been followed NBC Live telecasts of by Rodgers and Hammerstein’s The Sound of Music and Hairspray.
Watch the trailer
Aired on @nbc in 2015, #TheWizLive is based on the soul/R&B take on The Wizard of Oz premiered on Broadway in 1975 (way before @WICKED_Musical).— StageFaves (@StageFaves) June 5, 2020
@Shanice_Williams is Dorothy in an all-star cast that inc @MsAmberPRiley @IAMQUEENLATIFAH @maryjblige @davidalangrier @Elijah_kelley pic.twitter.com/BjaW9Kluov