Many sat around the television last night to watch the masterpiece that was The Wiz: Live!. Those who know me, know that I'd been waiting so very long for this show to finally air and after a performance like that, it was SO worth the wait.
From the staging to the costumes, to the choreography and stellar casting... EVERYTHING was spectacular! As I watched in amazement at the talent that beamed from the stage, I couldn't help but feel myself transport back to my 10 year old self. For within those 3 hours, I was once again a dreamer -- not blinded by life's harsh realities. Gazing at the beautiful brown Shanice Williams, for a split second my younger self dreamed of being like her one day. She nailed every note, hit every eight-count perfectly and performed with such grace and class that, though in reality I am five years her senior, I wanted to thank her... for inspiring me!
For inspiring me to be fearless, inspiring me to be confident; for inspiring
me to dream BIGGER than even I could imagine. Although I don't know her entire story, I do know
that this production was her very first audition -- a test run of sorts. However, because she had a dream, aspirations and a support system pushing her towards greatness -- she landed the role of a lifetime! One that would inspire the likes of me and so many other brown girls who dream.
Watching Williams and the rest of the FRICKIN' AMAZING cast of characters including my bff (in my head) Amber Riley -- who played the mess outta miss Addaperle, honey! -- Ne-Yo, David Alan Grier, Elijah Kelly, Mary J. Blige, Queen Latifah, Uzo Aduba, and the incomparable Ms. STEPHANIE MILLS; I was nearly moved to tears. I tweeted the entire night with complete and utter joy in my heart
When's the last time you've seen an all-black cast in a live television musical?!?! I can't say that I've ever!
Having witnessed such a positive representation of just how phenomenal we are as a distinctly beautiful group of people put the biggest smile on my face! No matter how we are stereotyped, what stigmas are placed on us, last night proved -- if only by a smidge -- that we are far more than what the media categorizes us to be.
Sure, we make mistakes; we fall short, we don't always get things right -- it's human nature. However, the beauty in it all is our unique resilience and drive. None of our shortcomings make us less human, less beautiful, or any less talented than we've been blessed to be.
I personally want to thank each and every person involved in making The Wiz: Live! exactly what it should have been -- the perfect blend of 40 years of theatric & film history, a bit of today's flava, and a WHOLE LOTTA BLACK GIRL/BLACK BOY MAGIC! You all have created a piece that provides examples we can truly identify with. I am excited to be able to add this production to the catalogue of Black Excellence I vow to share with future generations
No shade but "Regular Ol' Dorothy" could never do that for me!
THANK YOU SO MUCH,
C. - circa '99 & '15
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