Aside from the unbelievably shocking horrors found splattered across pages of USA Today, Chicago herself is currently going through some thangs. We’ve got a police department in shambles, a mayor few trust, and a list of evils some known and some yet to be discovered, if not hidden forever. What we all need is a break. For many, The Wiz Live! on NBC Thursday night was the perfect respite.
The Wiz is a spectacular retelling of the classic Wizard of Oz. New life is brought to the story with a mostly black cast that sing and dance and joke around in the same way its audience is singing, dancing, and joking any given day. That self-awareness is what makes The Wiz so much fun. It’s not full of itself. It knows who it is and who’s watching it. That was true in the ’70s just as much as it was last night. This isn’t a wide-eyed, naive story so doused in sugar that it comes off creepily detached. This version, instead, is more for today and more for everyone — no matter who you are. Code: It’s not just for black people.
Many of us grew up with both versions simultaneously lodged into our cognizance. Usually, however, one makes us feel more at home than the other.
Speaking of Home…
Twitter was made for moments like this. While swimming in nostalgia, folks in Chicago and the rest of the country bonded over emotions tweet by tweet, until Dorothy finally sang Home. Some were shady, some were clever, some were just grasping for a way to encapsulate the moment.
From the jump we knew it was coming for our lunch money, wigs, and edges. No one was disappointed.
Then we remembered the music.
It was all so CURRENT tho!
Chicago came through.
Mary and The Queen did their thing.
We learned a lot…
…and laughed a lot too.
Um, but where was Toto?
And I know you saw that dash of milk in the Emerald City coffee.
In the end, it was all over too soon.
A huge thank you to NBC and the entire cast of The Wiz Live! We’re all so grateful.