BroadwayWorld.com recently sat down with the very busy dynamic duo of Craig Zadan and Neil Meron to discuss… well, everything.
Ne-Yo and Common have joined the cast of NBC’s upcoming holiday production ofThe Wiz Live!, set to air December 3. Additionally, Elijah Kelley (Lee Daniels’ The Butler) has been cast as the Scarecrow, the role Michael Jackson played in the 1978 movie version (that’s him on the right in the photo). Ne-Yo is set to play the Tin Man, and Common will play the non-singing role of the gatekeeper of Oz.
Two more A-listers have been invited to ease on down the road!
Orange is the New Black star Uzo Aduba and Glee actress Amber Riley have been added to the burgeoning cast of NBC’s upcoming live-action remake of The Wiz.
Aduba, a classically trained singer and Broadway actress, will be playing Glinda, the Good Witch of the South. Riley will play opposite Aduba, stepping into the shoes of Addaperle, the Good Witch of the North.
Tony Award nominee and multi-talented actor and singerDavid Alan Grier is joining NBC’s highly anticipated holiday production of “The Wiz Live!,” set for Thursday, Dec. 3.
Grier will play the Cowardly Lion, who asks Dorothy if he can join her in her journey down the Yellow Brick Road and ask the Wiz for some courage, which he is severely lacking.
Queen Latifah and Mary J. Blige will be part of “The Wiz Live!” – the song and dance retelling of “The Wizard of Oz” slated for NBC on Dec. 3.
Like Carrie Underwood and Allison Williams before them, the Grammy-winning recording artists will be part of a live musical extravaganza. The Emmy- and Oscar-nominated “Bessie” star will play the all-powerful Wiz, and Blige will play baddie Evillene, the Wicked Witch of the West, the network announced Tuesday.
There are a lot of unusual paths from page to stage, but here’s one of the more meta: the imaginary show-within-a-show at the heart of a star-crossed television series is now being adapted for possible real world production.
NBC Entertainment and Universal Pictures on Monday said that they would begin an effort to develop “Bombshell,” the Marilyn Monroe bio-musical featured in “Smash,” from a collection of songs into a full-blown show.
NBC is taking Henry Winkler, William Shatner, Terry Bradshaw, George Foreman and Jeff Dye on a major adventure throughout Asia. They have been tapped to join Better Late Than Never, an alternative comedy series based on the South Korean format Grandpas Over Flowers from content company CJ E&M. The one-hour series will begin production in August, traveling to Tokyo, Kyoto, Seoul, Hong Kong, Bangkok and Chang Mai before heading home.
Additional casting was announced today by producers Craig Zadan and Neil Meron for the concert presentation of the musical created within the NBC TV series “Smash,” created by Theresa Rebeck, Bombshell, with music by Marc Shaiman, lyrics by Marc Shaimanand Scott Wittman, directed by Joshua Bergasse and Scott Wittman with choreography by Joshua Bergasse and music direction by Marc Shaiman. The one-night only landmark event benefitting The Actors Fund takes place on Monday evening, June 8, 2015 at The Minskoff Theatre (1515 Broadway).
BWW has confirmed today that Fatima Robinson (“The Voice,” “Dreamgirls” film, “VH1 Hip Hop Honors”) will serve as choreographer for the highly anticipated THE WIZ LIVE on NBC.
Robinson’s work as a choreographer and video director for the Black Eyed Peas has earned her several MTV VMA nominations, including a win for Best Hip Hop Video for “My Humps” and Best Choreography in a Music Video for “Hey Mama.” She is also the director and choreographer behind the popular commercial campaigns for Nair and Old Navy, as well as Fergie’s “Fergalicious” which won “Best International Video” at the 2007 Much Music Awards.
NBC’s Bob Greenblatt used NBC’s Monday morning upfront presentation to announce the first casting for the network’s live rendition of The Wiz. Stephanie Mills, who starred as Dorothy in the original Broadway production, will play Aunt Em in NBC’s live musical.
Greenblatt noted that casting on the musical follow-up to Peter Pan and the Sound of Music has just begun its search for a new fresh face to star as Dorothy.
Surprising no one who’s been following the Kickstarter campaign, it was announced today by producers Craig Zadan and Neil Meron that the upcoming concert presentation of the musical Bombshell from the TV series “Smash,” created by Theresa Rebeck with music by Marc Shaiman, lyrics by Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman, co-directed by Joshua Bergasse and Scott Wittman with choreography by Joshua Bergasse, is SOLD OUT! The response for the one-night only landmark event benefitting The Actors Fund, which sold out in just over one hour and to be held Monday evening, June 8, 2015 at The Minskoff Theatre (1515 Broadway) has been overwhelming helping to raise much needed funds for the non-profit organization.
NBC’s next live television production will be an update of hit Broadway musical The Wiz, debuting December 3, but this time the network has partnered with Cirque du Soleil to co-produce the live event. It will then become a Broadway revival for the 2016-17 season.
Once again Craig Zadan and Neil Meron will exec produce. Tony Award-winning director Kenny Leon will stage both the television production and Broadway revival, in collaboration with Tony winner and Broadway icon Harvey Fierstein, who will contribute new material to the original Broadway book by William F. Brown.
After three consecutive years as the producers of the Oscars, Neil Meron and Craig Zadan have decided not to return for a fourth. Now the search is on for who will oversee next year’s telecast.
The choice was theirs, sources close to the pair confirm, ending a three-year deal with ABC and the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. The two, who’ve produced films such as Chicago and The Bucket List, in addition to TV projects such as the live NBC productions of Peter Pan and The Sound of Music, were credited with bringing new playfulness to the ceremony and trimmed back some of the pageantry to make room for more music and entertainment amid the envelope-opening.
It was a fictional musical in a failed television show. But now, at least for one starry night, it is coming to life.
“Bombshell,” the play-within-a-play whose development propelled the much-loathed but also loved-by-many NBC series “Smash,” will be produced before a live audience to raise money for charity in a staged concert in June.
The event is the latest, and largest, effort by fans of the television series – or at least admirers of its component parts – to breathe new life into material created for the show, much of which was written and performed by respected Broadway artists.
NBC’s entertainment chairman Robert Greenblatt has just revealed that the network’s next live musical broadcast will be either 1957’s THE MUSIC MAN or an updated version of 1978’s THE WIZ. The network has reportedly optioned the rights to both musicals and is currently considering casting options for THE MUSIC MAN.
BroadwayWorld.com has exclusively learned that one of the two shows will be their 2015 musical, and the other will air in 2016. Both will be produced again by Craig Zadan and Neil Meron along with Bob Greenblatt and NBC. NBC made television and ratings history in 2013 with a live broadcast of the classic Rodgers and Hammerstein musical THE SOUND OF MUSIC and followed up with last year’s PETER PAN LIVE airing in November.
Bombshell, which musicalizes the life story of Marilyn Monroe, features a score by Tony Award-winning songwriters Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman. Standouts from the score include “Let Me Be Your Star” and “Hang the Moon.”
According to Nielsen, 5.3 million people saw at least one of the 475,000 tweets about Thursday’s “Peter Pan Live” on NBC. More than 147,000 unique authors sent tweets, which were seen a total of 106.9 million times.
That’s compared with AMC’s “The Walking Dead” Nov. 30 midseason finale — which garnered 37.4 million Twitter impressions — and NBC’s “Sound of Music” in 2013, for which 68.7 million tweets were viewed.