The Wiz Live! full movie review - Worse than I expected
I viewed "The wiz live!" last night when it premiered on T.V for the first time, and I was utterly disappointed. My main issues were with the singing, acting, casting, line delivery, and lastly costuming.
Now I know this isn't an actual Broadway musical, but this is closely based off of the real thing, and the T.V version didn't even come close. Because I have so many issues with the play, I'll split my review into different parts.
First I will begin by saying that the play wasn't all bad, the scenery for a stage production was well done, but the good pretty much stops there.
Characters: Dorothy: I understand the young lady who was cast as Dorothy is only 19 years old, and this is Her first time acting, but truthfully I have seen five year olds that can do a better job than what I saw last night. The actress was just missing spunk, personality, cunningness, wit, likability, charm etc......all of the things that make You like a character. The actress didn't become the character, She was quite one dimensional and plain in my opinion. This young actress just doesn't have star quality, She didn't grab my attention or draw my eyes in any way except negatively. I fail to see how She was cast as the iconic character "Dorothy Gale".
Scarecrow: Eligah Kelly's performance as the scarecrow was one of the highlights in this dreary play. He brought life to the stage, His excellent portrayal of the scarecrow made Me smile. He gave that old-time charm, and comedic appeal that fans of all ages would enjoy. Of all of the cast I watched the scarecrow the most.
Tin-man: Ne-yo as the tin-man was the perfect casting choice. Ne-yo managed to keep the classic charm of the tin-man while also adding in His own 2015 spin on the character without overdoing it.
Wicked witch of the west: I honestly must say I expected much more out of Mary J. blaige, as She is one of my favorite actresses/artists. But this role was just not right for Her......The wicked witch is supposed to be frightening, unapproachable, unspeakably evil, and Mary J. didn't portray the character to it's fullest, and She didn't act or sing to Her real potential.
Good witch of the North: Her performance was solid, She was confident in Her role, sang well, acting was on point......not much to say about this one.
Lion: The actor who played the Lion was very good as well, I am not sure He is Broadway material per-say.....but was good enough for the stage play. This Man didn't draw my eye in a positive way, or a negative way, He was just.......mediocre at best.
Oz: I believe I hated this character portrayal most of all! (No pun intended) Queen latifah was without a doubt one of the worst actresses in the whole production! Her line delivery was flat, She did not posses any of the mannerism's "OZ" would have, and Her singing was totally and utterly to say the least, off key. We all know Queen L. is quite manlike in real life, but that is no reason to cast Her as OZ! She just didn't fit the part, something about it just didn't sit right with Me.
The other few character's are not relevant enough to even mention, so I will just skip ahead to my other thoughts.
The music: The lyrics to the music were breathtaking, unfortunately the singers who preformed the pieces were not, particularly Shanice, Queen L., and Glenda.
Shanice was trying to hard to sound like a professional, it was obvious She didn't have much experience with singing or being on stage. Often times She was off-key and shaky with Her delivery of the lyrics.
Queen L.: She cannot sing, end of story. Queen L. sounded like She was talking more than singing, Her deep, gruff voice didn't fit the song at all.
Glenda: Her singing was atrocious. She was off-key in "believe in Yourself" and was trying to hard to sound authentic.
The Dancing: I thought Shanice's dancing was stiff, and lifeless. She was just going through the steps and thinking to much, She didn't feel the music or get into it like Her co-stars. Other than "Dorothy's dancing, I thought it was good.
Pacing: The play started off slow, and nearly uneventful. By the end it was basically still slow and uneventful. Even the climax scenes were not all that interesting in My opinion. I also believed that the ended was slightly rushed, and looked foolish. Didn't Aunt Em' wonder were Dorothy had gone? If She was outside during a tornado wouldn't She have been presumed dead? Were are the other members of the cast at the end of the play that were present in the beginning? Such as Uncle Henry or the other farm hands? Wouldn't they be running out to greet Dorothy as well? Costuming: The costuming was fine, except for accuracy. Dorothy was dressed as a modern day teen-aged girl, while the other characters were stuck in the 1800's time period. It made no sense to have one modern themed character, while the others look like farm hicks from 1812.
Overall I thought the play was weak, slow, tedious, and a chore to watch. I would not recommend this abomination to anyone who would like to see a good musical, not even my worst enemy. Avoid this musical disaster at all costs!!!!!!!!!