No matter what you thought about NBC’s The Wiz Live! a modernized production of the throwback movie and Broadway musical, one thing is for sure, there’s no denying that the costumes were Style Stamped. They were everything. Detailed. Colorful. Stylish. Modern. Did I say Stylish? Just wanted to make sure to mention it twice. Paul Tazewell did his thing on these costume designs, as always!
I’m going to start with my favorite. Miss Mary J. Blige. I’ve loved Mary since “What’s the 411“, it was the first CD I ever purchased. We shared an area code and at one time lived in the same city. I think I saw her in the bathroom one time when I was younger in the back of a club in New Ro. I will forever pledge my love to her, even as Evilline. Her costume is edgy, intricate, and looks like it took 50 years to make. The headpiece. The corset. The boots with spikes around the sole. Life? Yes. Could anyone have rocked this better than MJB? No.
My second favorite was….drum-roll please…..”Oh Great Wizard….” Your lace front and your cape. I never thought such an androgynous look could feel so right. Embellished beading, sparkly sequins and a rich color that screams “Repping my set…Emerald City for Life“. All hail the Queen!
My third fave was one that after two and a half hours in, I thought was a figment of my imagination. I had to text my group chat to double check, asking “isn’t Uzo in this show?” Just as I looked up at the TV, lo and behold.. she appeared with zero resemblance to her Crazy Eyes character. Instead, she resembled an angelic Avatar who’d been dipped in gold and sprinkles then kicked out of Heaven and floated gently to earth at the hands of the costume gawds. Once she landed gracefully, she opened her mouth, and sang to the angels!! Who knew?? It was a lot to take in which makes sense why they put her in the last scene. No one was ready for all that new fabulousness. We’re used to fuzzy Bantu knots and a grayish-greenish jumpsuit. Her dress looked like Paul Tazewell drew it on her. Yesss Glittering Glinda! It was awesomely amazing. Loved it!
The entire cast was great, the set was eye catching, and the dancing by Cirque du Soliel choreographed by Fatima Robinson was superb. The bright colors, brown faces, natural hairstyles (the Lion had locks!), and the lingo brought classy culture to the screen that we are so familiar with in real life. It was a pleasure to see this production on NBC and I was proud to have my daughter watch art unfolding in this way.
What did you think of The Wiz Live! Who wore your favorite costume?