Showing posts from December, 2015

The Importance of Dark Dorothy

In just a couple nights there will be a live performance, on NBC, of Motown’s The Wiz. If you’re not familiar with The Wiz, it’s Motown’s version of The Wizard of Oz. All different songs, same plot, all Black cast. The original came out in ’78 with Dorothy played by Diana Ross, Michael Jackson as the Scarecrow, Nipsy Russel as the Tin Man, Ted Ross as the Cowardly Lion, Richard Pryor as the The Great And Powerful Wiz, Lena Horne as Glenda the Good Witch, and a few other stars! I grew up watching this movie at my grandparents’ house huddled around the giant wooden tv with my cousins. We sang the songs, tried imitating the dance moves, and felt at home in our brown skin as we watched other brown people be exemplar. This Thursday’s production has me overjoyed and anticipatory.

Again, and as it should be, the entire cast is Black. All the main characters are played by pretty famous people including Queen Latifah, Common, Mary J. Blige, Elijah Kelley, Uzo Aduba, and Amber Riley. The main ch…