Beyoncé Reportedly in Talks to Join NBC's The Wiz

News   Beyoncé Reportedly in Talks to Join NBC's The Wiz
 
Hot on the heels of news that Grammy Award-winning singers Mary J. Blige and Queen Latifah have joined the cast of the upcoming live broadcast of the Tony Award-winning musical The Wiz comes news that singing star Beyoncé may be next.

Us Weekly magazine reported on its website, "Sources tell Us Weekly that Beyonce is also in talks to play Glinda the Good Witch." No further details were reported.

Beyoncé previously worked with Wiz choreographer Fatima Robinson on the film adaptation of Dreamgirls. Robinson also choreographed Blige's "Family Affair" video.

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Beyoncé Giselle Knowles-Carter, former lead singer of the group Destiny's Child, has won 20 Grammy Awards and is one of the top-selling recording artists ever. Her hits include "Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It)," "Crazy in Love" and "Irreplaceable." Unlike the classic 1939 movie musical "The Wizard of Oz," the character of Glinda in The Wiz appears only near the end, but sings the show-stopping "Believe in Yourself." Dee Dee Bridgewater won a Tony Award for originating the role on Broadway. In the movie of "The Wiz," the role was played by Lena Horne.

Latifah, who starred in the Oscar-winning film of "Chicago" and the screen return of "Hairspray," will star as The Wiz, with Blige to play Evillene, the Wicked Witch of the West. They join original Broadway star Stephanie Mills, who played Dorothy in the original production, and will play Auntie Em in the TV adaptation.

An actress to play the role of Dorothy has not been announced. Kenny Leon is directing, with Harvey Fierstein adapting the book for TV. The live broadcast is scheduled for Dec. 3. NBC reportedly wants to have the role cast by the end of the summer.

William F. Brown wrote the book for the soulful contemporary retelling of L. Frank Baum's "The Wonderful Wizard of Oz." The Wiz also features music and lyrics by Charlie Smalls. The original 1974 production, directed by Geoffrey Holder and choreographed by George Faison, won seven Tony Awards including Best Musical. The premiere Broadway company featured Hinton Battle, Tiger Haynes, Stephanie Mills, Ted Ross, Dee Dee Bridgewater, André De Shields and Mabel King. Diana Ross and Michael Jackson starred in the film version.

The musical, according to NBC, is described as such: "Dorothy, a young woman from Kansas, is swept up in a tornado and relocated to a fantasy world that is inhabited by munchkins, good and bad witches, and, of course, flying monkeys. She eventually takes a path down a yellow brick road to find a wizard who can help her go home and along the way meets a scarecrow, tin man and cowardly lion, who all learn to help one another."

The recent news was announced by co-producer Craig Zadan on Twitter:

 

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