Excited for The Wiz Live! tonight? So are we, and so is Ne-Yo, who plays the Tin-Man in the gigantic live production of the beloved musical.
"I grew up on The Wiz [the 1978 movie] and was a huge fan of the film," the singer told E! News. "I never got to see the Broadway production, but I know that Stephanie Mills was the original Dorothy, and now she's Auntie Em for this one, and it's just full circle."
"I am beyond honored to be a part of this," said Ne-Yo. "The Wiz, for us—and when I say us I mean African Americans—it was our version of The Wizard of Oz, but we don't want to even go into this like that. We want this to be more of a universal thing. There's a lesson in this story that the world needs to hear. It's not so much about black or white...The Wiz is a woman! It's 2015. We try to bring things into what's happening now and just make something that the world can enjoy."
There's one person who quite surprisingly will not be watching and enjoying The Wiz Live!, though: Ne-Yo's 5-year-old daughter Madilyn! "She does not like the costumes," he said. "She is terrified. I was trying to FaceTime her the other day, and she would not get on FaceTime until her mother assured her that I was not in costume. She is that scared!"
Ne-Yo's 4-year-old son Mason, however, "is super excited," said the star. "He's ready to go!"
Really ready to go, though, is David Alan Grier's 7-year-old daughter Luisa. "She is into it, " said the Broadway veteran, who plays the Cowardly Lion in The Wiz Live! "She's like, 'Daddy, send me more pictures...she's been step by step—micromanaging!"
In fact, little Luisa is so into The Wiz Live! that its stars are nervously awaiting her reviews. "That's only the only critique I'm anticipating," said Ne-Yo. "All the other critics, whatever! I need to know what [Luisa] thought of the show."
That's some serious pressure! One thing Ne-Yo's not worried about at all, though, is his upcoming wedding to Crystal Renay. "I'm basically just gonna show up, get a tux and stand there and say my 'I do's,'" he told E! News with a smile. "No, Crystal has been extremely hands on with the preparation of the wedding."
But Ne-Yo knows "that the wedding is for the woman," he said, so he's cool with letting his fiancée's choices win out over his own. "You get that look like, 'Just stand in the corner until this is over,'" he joked. "So I'm standing in the corner!"
Watch the videos above to hear more from Ne-Yo about his upcoming wedding, plus lots more from the singer & Mr. Grier about tonight's performance! The Wiz Live! airs tonight at 8 p.m. on NBC.
(E! and NBC are both members of the NBCUniversal family.)