NBC's live version of The Wizairs December 3 so let's hope they can get all this talent signed on before
underwhelming entertaining audiences for the holidays.
Dorothy - Willow Smith
Sure, in the film version of The Wiz, Dorothy was a 24-year-old school teacher from Harlem played by a 34-year-old Diana Ross from Not-Giving-a-Fuck, but the Broadway version stayed truer to The Wizard of Oz with Dorothy as a Kansas kid yearning for...
We were already deprived of Willow as Annie because by the time they got that future trainwreck on the rails she was too long in the tooth. At 14, she's the perfect age and the perfect choice to whip her hair back and forth all over Oz.
Scarecrow - Chris Brown
CBreezy may not be the Scarecrow we want, but he's the Scarecrow we deserve. After all, who better to embody the physicaity and acrobatism of a young Michael Jackson than Young Michael Jackson himself.
Tin Man - Billy Porter
Each NBC live musical needs some Broadway chops to surround the non-theater stars and generally make them look better when they're not blatantly outshining them (*cough* Audra McDonald). Porter won a Tony for his showstopping performance in Kinky Boots and could surely find the kinks in the Tin Man's armor.
Cowardly Lion - James Monroe Iglehart
As the Genie in the Broadway adaptation of Disney's Aladdin, Iglehart snatched a Tony and routinely all the wigs so he's got the presence -- both physical and stage-related -- to give the Lion his heart.
Glinda, the Good Witch of the South - Diana Ross
As the only surviving member of the oriignal motion picture cast, Ms. Ross is a likely (and smart) choice to slip into Lena Horne's legendary bejweled kaftan.
And of course she could pull it off since The Boss is always a fan of a subtle voluminous look.
Evillene - Taraji P. Henson
Having already won hearts and minds as the unrivaled doyenne of primetime TV, Henson is a shoe-in to draw audiences in the deliciously evil role of the Wicked Witch of the West. And as all fans of Three 6 Mafia's Oscar win know, Henson can belt it out when called upon. In her capable claws, Evillene will be the Baddest Bitch of the West.
Aunt Em - Queen Latifah
Up till now, the Queen's most maternal role has been as Matron Mama Morton in Chicago (for which she earned a Best Supporting Actress Oscar nod) but I can see her lovingly crooning to young Dorothy/Willow not to lose the feeling they once had.
The Wiz - Kevin Hart
In the 1978 film, the titular "Wiz" was played by the biggest comic in the world at the time, Richard Pryor. And while Kevin Hart is no Richard Pryor -- there's not enough coke in the world for that -- he certainly fits that bill. As well as any overhead luggage compartment.
Les Fabian Brathwaite, losing the feeling he once had -- call an ambulance.