The casting process for NBC’s The Wiz Live! continues to stay on the positive side of credible, with news coming today that Orange Is The New Black breakout star Uzo Aduba and Glee’s Amber Riley have both joined the live-broadcast musical, which is set to air on December 3.
Aduba, who plays Suzanne “Crazy Eyes” Warren on Netflix’s critically lauded prison drama, is a Broadway veteran whose credits include Coram Boy and Godspell. She’ll be playing Glinda, the Good Witch of the South, who’s the one who eventually teaches Dorothy (newcomer Shanice Williams) how to use her silver slippers how to get home via her signature ballad, “If You Believe.”
Riley, meanwhile, will play Glinda’s northernly counterpart, the Good Witch Addaperle, who first gifts the fantastical footware to the young Kansas girl. She’s also the one who advises a visit to The Wiz herself, played in this version by Queen Latifah. Riley starred for three seasons as wannabe diva Mercedes Jones on Fox’s long-running high school musical, and also won the seventeenth season of ABC’s Dancing With The Stars, so her song-and-dance bona fides are pretty much set.
At this point, there are pretty much only two big parts left for NBC to cast, thus finally bringing about a brand new day of not having to hear about casting for The Wiz Live!: The Tin Man and the Scarecrow, who were famously played by Nipsey Russell and Michael Jackson, respectively, in the 1978 film version of the musical.