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Last two witches fly into 'The Wiz Live!'

by jmaloni

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Thu, Aug 6th 2015 05:50 pm

Emmy and SAG Award winners join previously announced cast

Emmy Award winner Uzo Aduba and Screen Actors Guild Award winner Amber Riley have joined the all-star cast of NBC's holiday production of "The Wiz Live!," set for Thursday, Dec 3.

"We are so happy to welcome two actors we've admired and wanted so much to work with," executive producers Craig Zadan and Neil Meron said. "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."

Aduba, who once again is nominated for an Emmy this year, is best known for her role as Suzanne "Crazy Eyes" Warren on the Netflix series "Orange Is the New Black." She will play Glinda, the Good Witch of the South, who finally reveals the secret of the silver slippers to Dorothy and points her way home.

Riley will play Addaperle, the Good Witch of the North, who isn't the best at magic, but she does try. She is a sister of Glinda, Evillene and Evvamene, the other three witches of Oz. She points Dorothy to the Yellow Brick Road and her journey to Emerald City.

Riley, who has played Mercedes Jones on "Glee" for six seasons and was a significant musical force on the series, won a SAG Award in 2010 for outstanding performance by an ensemble in a comedy series, and was nominated three other times in the same category.

NBC recently added award-winners Queen Latifah and Mary J. Blige to the telecast, as well as multi-hyphenate talent David Alan Grier and newcomer Shanice Williams. Stephanie Mills was previously announced to portray Auntie Em in "The Wiz Live!"

 "The Wiz Live!" is adapted from "The Wonderful Wizard of Oz" by L. Frank Baum, with a book by William F. Brown, and music and lyrics by Charlie Smalls. The production opened on Broadway in 1975 at the Majestic Theatre and won seven Tonys, including Best Musical.

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