Newswire: NBC’s The Wiz Live! adds Queen Latifah and Mary J. Blige, punctuation

When NBC first announced the next installment of its thus-far-ridiculous live musical broadcasts would be The Wiz, people went ahead and got the jokes about easing on down the garbage chute ready to go. But then the network had to go and hire Stephanie Mills (who originated the Dorothy role in the original 1975 Broadway cast) as Auntie Em, thereby ruining everyone’s fun by giving the project an immediate hue of credibility. And now, Deadline reports Queen Latifah and Mary J. Blige have joined the cast as well—and NBC added an exclamation mark to the end of the title, in keeping with tradition, something you’d think they would want to break away from with this particular franchise.

Queen Latifah will be playing The Wiz, imbuing the role with the talent and gravitas she brought to Bessie, and hopefully not the talent and gravitas she brought to …

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