Uzo Aduba, Amber Riley set for 'The Wiz Live!'
NBC has found its Glinda the Good Witch for its The Wiz Live! musical: Orange is the New Black star Uzo Aduba will play the virtuous witch in the forthcoming production, the network announced on Thursday. “I’m beyond grateful and excited to join this incredible company of artists as Glinda, The Good Witch in #TheWizLive and to tell this story!” Aduba wrote on Twitter.
In addition to Aduba — an Emmy nominee this year for Orange is the New Black — NBC also set former Glee star Amber Riley in the role of Glinda’s sister, Addaperle, the Good Witch of the North.
“We look forward to showcasing the amazing musical talents of Amber, and we are eager to introduce Uzo’s remarkable singing voice for those who know her solely as an extraordinary dramatic actress,” The Wiz Live executive producers Craig Zadan and Neil Meron said in a statement.
About that singing voice: Aduba is a trained opera singer who has appeared on Broadway before, notably in Godspell. Here’s a taste of her talents:
The two actresses join Queen Latifah, Mary J. Blige, David Alan Grier and newcomer Shanice Williams, who will play Dorothy, in the cast. It was previously reported that NBC had approached Beyoncé for the role of Glinda, but Queen Bey passed on the chance to star in the project.
The Wiz Live! will air on Dec. 3. News of Aduba and Riley joining the cast was first reported by Essence.