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Mary J. Blige, Common, Ne-Yo & Queen Latifah Star in NBC’s The Wiz Live! Tonight


Photo by: Paul Gilmore/NBCThe star-studded cast for NBC’s The Wiz Live! cannot wait for you to see the three-hour production of the 1974 musical based on The Wizard of Oz, which airs tonight.

“Happy Thursday!!! Today’s The Day!” tweeted Mary, who’s playing The Wicked Witch of the West. Earlier in the week, Common expressed his excitement.  “Dress rehearsal. I’m getting geeked about this happening, I kinda like this costume too!” he wrote on Instagram. The rapper will portray the Bouncer, “a gatekeeper of the entrance to Emerald City who is out to get what he can from Dorothy and her three friends.”

So what can fans expect? Ne-Yo, who will star as the Tin Man, explained it’s a fresh take on a classic. “This production is a hybrid of the Broadway version and the film. They’re different. It’s not based in the ‘70s. It’s based in 2015,” he tells Essence.

Queen Latifah will portray The Wiz and David Alan Grier will fill the role of The Cowardly Lion. The cast also features gospel singer Stephanie Mills — who played Dorothy in the original Broadway production, Glee‘s Amber Riley, Uzo Aduba from Orange Is the New Black and newcomer Shanice Williams, who will portray Dorothy.

The Wiz Live! premieres December 3 at 8 p.m. Eastern on NBC.

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