"The Wiz Live!" eased on down the yellow brick road, and straight into our hearts, on Thursday night (Dec. 3). We're sorry if that's a little sappy, but after watching three hours of pure, emerald-tinted joy, we're feeling particularly emotional right now.
The all-star cast, which included Queen Latifah (the Wiz), Mary J. Blige (the Wicked Witch of the West), Uzo Aduba (Good Witch Glinda), Common (Emerald City’s gatekeeper), David Alan Grier (the Cowardly Lion) and plucky young newcomer Shanice Williams (Dorothy) blew us away with a big-hearted take on the Tony Award-winning musical.
The dazzling production was sophisticated, yet contemporary -- magical, yet compellingly realistic. Premiering at the end of a year in which black people fought to be recognized as worthy of respect, "The Wiz Live!" truly feels like a story for this generation. Dorothy and her band of misfits fought for their victory, even in the face of dispiriting odds. Their journey, while fantastical, couldn't be more timely and important.
And at times, it was even incredibly cathartic. When the Scarecrow sings, "Why do we even try / that’s what we get for letting our hopes get too high," it's hard not to think about one's own self-doubt. But that wasn't the only moment that hit us right in the gut. Here are all the moments that made us happy-cry during "The Wiz Live!":
When Stephanie Mills destroyed us during "The Feeling We Once Had."
Mills starred as Dorothy in "The Wiz" on Broadway back in 1975. Forty years later she returned to the production, this time as Auntie Em.
When Shanice Williams shut it down with one look.
Williams didn't even sing a single note and she already gave us chills. She's got the whole "I know you're probably right but I don't want to admit so leave me alone" look down pat.
When the personification of the tornado literally blew our minds.
Snaps to the production for putting together one hell of a show. Everything from the staging to the costumes and choreography was absolutely magical.
And then Dorothy got swept away.
Coming into work tomorrow like...
When Amber Riley entered and reminded Rachel Berry why she deserved that solo at Sectionals once and for all.
Former New Directioner Amber Riley starred as Addaperle, the Good Witch of the North, and she brought the house down with one perfect note during "He's The Wiz." Rachel Berry, what's good?
When Addaperle pulled out her iPad because ¯\_(ツ)_/¯.
We guess anything can happen in the land of Oz.
And finally, when she taught us the meaning of "give it a shake and lean on the clutch."
Rule #1 in Oz: If the batteries are low, just shake it.
When Elijah Kelley's Scarecrow showed those crows how it's done.
Scarecrow is like the Jon Snow of "The Wiz." He knows nothing, and he spends most of his days with the crows. Unlike Jon Snow, however, this scarecrow knows how to MOVE. After his scene-stealing role in 2007's "Hairspray," it's nice to see Kelley back on the stage. Plus, those Jean-Michel Basquiat-inspired locks were a nice touch, NBC.
When Dorothy and Scarecrow met the Tin Man and "Slide Some Oil To Me" became your new favorite song.
He just wants a lubricated mind. That's all.
When NE-YO broke it DOWN.
Sure, he doesn't have a heart, but who cares! Tin Man definitely has moves.
When Leroy the Lion called himself a "Mean Ole Lion."
LOL. Nice try, buddy. But you couldn't hurt a fly.
When Common made an appearance for a hot minute.
Was I the only one who expected Common to spit a verse and drop some knowledge on these fools?
When Dorothy and co. finally entered Oz.
The company served up "Emerald City Ballet" realness with a modern take on Dorothy's introduction to Oz. It kind of felt like an episode of "Ru Paul's Drag Race" -- and I'm 100 percent here for that. Werk, queen. WERK.
When they finally met The Wiz.
OK, the props department really outdid themselves with The Wiz's giant head. It's giving us serious "Legends of the Hidden Temple" vibes.
When The Wiz quoted the Spice Girls.
And everything was perfect.
When The Wiz made ~ magic ~ happen.
We told you this show was magical.
When Mary J. Blige gave us the gif that we'll be using for the rest of eternity.
As Evillene, the Wicked Witch of the West, Mary J. Blige slayed "Don't Nobody Bring Me No Bad News." The lively performance even spawned my new favorite gif. I swear that I will find a way to incorporate this gif into my daily life.
When you secretly rooted for Evillene because she was the best part of the show.
Honestly, she did have a point. Dorothy's the one who killed her sister and took her shoes, so maybe Dorothy should have apologized for messing things up. Then again, she was evil...
But in your heart, you knew she got what she deserved.
After all, if Evillene doesn't die, then we never get to hear "A Brand New Day," which is essentially like saying we'll never feel happiness or joy ever again.
When Uzo Aduba ascended from the heavens to bless us mere mortals with her presence.
As Glinda the Good Witch, Aduba transformed into a beautiful, shimmering dandelion for "Believe In Yourself." Clearly, we saved the most magical for last.
When Dorothy brought us to tears with "Home."
R.I.P my emotions. Thanks for all the laughs, tears and wonderment, Wiz. I'll just have to play the soundtrack on repeat until I get tired of "Slide Some Oil To Me."