Crazy Eyes' got crazy pipes!
Orange Is the New Black star Uzo Aduba and Glee's Amber Riley are set to join NBC's live production on The Wiz, E! News can exclusively reveal. While Aduba will take on the role of Glinda the Good Witch, Riley will play Addaperle, the Good Witch of the North and Glinda's sister. Yes, Crazy Eyes and Mercedes Jones are playing sisters. Witchy sisters. Go on, get your squeals out, we'll wait.
"We are so happy to welcome two actors we've admired and wanted so much to work with," said executive producers Craig Zadan and Neil Meron in a statement. "We look forward to showcasing the amazing musical talents of Amber and we are eager to introduce Uzo's remarkable singing voice for those who know her solely as an extraordinary dramatic actress."
Aduba, who has won an Emmy for her work on OITNB, and Riley join an all-star line-up that already includes Queen Latifah, Mary J. Blige and David Alan Grier, as well as newcomer Shanice Williams as Dorothy. As E! News recently reported, the network was courting Beyoncé for the role of Glinda, with sources telling us it was between her and Aduba for the coveted role.
Fun fact: Before becoming the breakout star of Orange Is the New Black, Aduba starred in the Broadway revival of Godspell from 2011 to 2012.
When The Wiz debuted on Broadway in 1975, Glinda was played by Grammy-winning jazz singer Dee Dee Bridgewater, with legendary and Grammy-winning Lena Horne took on the part in the 1978 movie.
Aside from Aduba taking on the role of Glinda and Riley as Addaperle, Blige will play Evillene, the Wicked Witch of the West (and another sister!), while Latifah will be playing the infamous Wizard. The Cowardly Lion will be played by Grier. And Stephanie Mills, who took on the role of Dorothy in the original Broadway play, will be playing Auntie Em.
The Wiz Live! will air on NBC on Thursday, December 3.
(E! and NBC are both part of the NBC Universal family.)