NBC’s tradition of airing live musical productions every December has quickly become one of the month’s most important annual events (even more than the birth of a certain famous baby, depending on who you ask), and now the Twitter snark/ratings machine has chosen its next target: The Wiz. This won’t be a staid and drowsy affair where everyone mostly stays on the ground like the other musicals, though, because NBC has enlisted the help of Cirque du Soleil—the world’s foremost experts in hanging upside-down and flying—in order to help it properly capture the show’s ‘70s-tinged take on The Wizard Of Oz.
Harvey Fierstein is reportedly contributing some kind of new material to The Wiz, and after it premieres on NBC, he and Tony-winning director Kenny Leon will stage an actual Broadway revival of the show. Shockingly, that means NBC—the network that brought us Christopher Walken’s Captain Hook in Peter Pan Live!—is actually contributing to the world of musical theater. Well, contributing in a way that doesn’t encourage people to make fun of it on the Internet, at least—even though that hasn’t stopped us.
Last year, we reported that NBC’s next big musical would be The Music Man, but that has apparently been sidelined in favor of The Wiz. Luckily, Meredith Wilson’s story of a con man who scams a bunch of rubes into buying musical instruments hasn’t gotten any less timeless in the last 60 years, so NBC can probably put it off for a bit. Unless all musical instruments become illegal in 2016, of course, which is exactly the sort of hilarious bad luck that would happen to NBC. Anyway, barring some wacky NBC-related mishaps, The Wiz is set to premiere on December 3.