Mary J. Blige is about to have some drama in her life — playing the Wicked Witch of the West in NBC’s live production on ‘The Wiz.’
The Yonkers-raised singer is one of the big names revealed for the TV adaption of the Broadway musical, which was adapted from ‘The Wonderful Wizard of Oz.’ NBC also announced that Oscar nominee Queen Latifah will play the powerful Wizard when the show airs on Dec. 3.
Does Blige, whose acting credits include the movie ‘Rock of Ages,’ have what it takes to play Evilline, the evil witch who captures Dorothy and her friends? Kenny Leon, who will direct the live event, seems to think so.
“I can’t wait to watch Mary bring the badness that is Evillene,” the director said in a statement. “Her talent range is off the charts and I know audiences won’t be able to take their eyes off her.”
Blige isn’t the only star with local ties who will ease on down to the road to ‘The Wiz Live.’ Stephanie Mills, who was a longtime Mount Vernon resident, will play Auntie Em. Mills played Dorothy in the original Broadway production of ‘The Wiz,’ which opened at the Majestic Theater in 1975.
NBC recently held an open casting call for a young actress to play Dorothy. The network will make more casting announcements in the coming weeks.