The Wiz Live Research Paper

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The Wiz Live! (2015), directed by Kenny Leon, is the Black version of the original movie The Wizard of Oz (1939). The live performance starred Shanice Williams, Ne-Yo, Uzo Aduba, Queen Latifah, Mary J. Blige, Common, Elijah Kelley, David Alan Grier, Amber Kelly, and Stephanie Mills. Although this show has previously been criticized because of the apparent “all-Black cast,” most people who make this statement do not realize that The Wiz has always been the black version of The Wizard of Oz. The original Broadway musical came out in 1975 and there has been 5 other performances, including The Wiz Live!, that have been performed since. Following the same plot as The Wizard of Oz, The Wiz Live! incorporated soul and R&B elements throughout the performance. …show more content…
When a performer was singing, there was a good chance they were dancing as well. The two interplayed throughout this performance. Dorothy at one point in the show did the “Nae Nae” and “Hit the Quan,” two urban style dances that were created by African Americans. In addition, the acrobatic stunts by Cirque du Soleil added a twist to the show. The dance performed by the poppy flowers was another performance that did not take place in the original The Wizard of Oz. While the flowers danced seductively around the Cowardly Lion, they were accompanied by an African dance beat. The songs that were performed were all the same from the original The Wiz (1978), except for a new song written by Ne-Yo titled “We Got It.” It was evident that Gospel and the Blues influenced the song choice because of the call-and-response technique, rifts, and the strong harmonies that were used. The Wiz Live! Incorporated a lot of positive aspects that are significant to the African American community. The director did a great job with relating his performers’ to the audience. The Wizard of Oz had a great story line, but The Wiz Live! brought life into the show with its cultural elements and up-to-beat

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