4 items from 2015
The numbers are in and it turns out, MGM’s highly anticipated big screen adaptation of L. Frank Baum’s The Wonderful Wizard of Oz is a box office flop. Apparently most moviegoers weren’t really into the idea of a farm girl riding a tornado to an alternate world, stealing some dead woman’s shoes and frolicking down a yellow brick road arm in arm with a cowardly lion, tin man and scarecrow. After going through a handful of directors before landing Victor Fleming and then struggling through a number of production challenges including some serious injuries on set, The Wizard of Oz wound up running MGM a whopping $2.7 million tab, but then only went on to accumulate a total of $3 million during its theatrical run. Tack on distribution and various other costs, and that makes The Wizard of Oz a $1.1 million loss for the company. Clearly it’s »
- Perri Nemiroff
After having success with The Sound of Music and Peter Pan, NBC is moving ahead with another live musical event: The Wiz. The network will rework the 1975 Broadway hit that was inspired by L. Frank Baum's book The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. Even more exciting? Cirque du Soleil will be involved this time. The live performance is scheduled for Dec. 3, and there are plans to bring the show to Broadway in 2016. Diana Ross and Michael Jackson starred in the Oscar-nominated movie version, which came out in 1978 and featured an entirely African-American cast. In case you're not familiar, here's the trailer! »
NBC’s next live musical event will come with a literal twist (or, more likely, dozens of ‘em).
The network announced on Monday that executive producers Craig Zadan and Neil Meron — the men behind NBC’s live versions of The Sound of Music and Peter Pan — will mount a live production of The Wiz in partnership with Cirque du Soleil on Dec. 3. Cirque’s new stage theatrical division will then present The Wiz as a major Broadway revival for the 2016-17 season.
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Tony-winning director Kenny Leon will »
NBC will ease on down the road for its next live musical television event: “The Wiz” will take centerstage Dec. 3, the net announced Monday.
“The Wiz” marks NBC’s third such production, following the success of “The Sound of Music Live!,” starring Carrie Underwood, and “Peter Pan Live!,” in which Allison Williams played the title character.
“The Wiz” will be co-produced by Cirque du Soleil’s new stage theatrical division. After the television event, the musical will make its Broadway revival for the 2016-17 season, also presented by Cirque du Soleil.
Casting for both projects has yet to be announced.
Craig Zadan and Neil Meron, who exec produced NBC’s “Sound of Music” and “Peter Pan,” return as exec producers. Kenny Leon directs both the TV production and the Broadway revival, along with Harvey Fierstein, who will contribute new material to the original Broadway book by William F. Brown.
- Elizabeth Wagmeister
4 items from 2015
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