BWW Exclusive: THE WIZ LIVE's Paul Tazewell, Derek McLane & Neil Meron React to Emmy Nominations

BWW Exclusive: THE WIZ LIVE's Paul Tazewell, Derek McLane & Neil Meron React to Emmy NominationsYesterday, NBC's THE WIZ LIVE garnered six Emmy Award nominations including Outstanding Production Design (Derek McLane), Outstanding Costumes For A Variety, Nonfiction Or Reality Program (Paul Tazewell), Outstanding Makeup and Hair For A Variety, Nonfiction Or Reality Program, Outstanding Lighting Design/Lighting Direction For A Variety Special and Outstanding Technical Direction For A Variety Special.

Below, BWW shares exclusive comments from THE WIZ LIVE's costume designer and Tony Award winner Paul Tazewell (HAMILTON), Tony-winning production designer Derek McLane and executive producer Neil Meron.

Costume designer Paul Tazewell: "It's always a surprise, a happy surprise for me to be acknowledged for my work and it's really exciting. This is my first Emmy nomination so that makes it doubly exciting. I'm also so proud of the piece overall, the telecast was one of the most popular that NBC has done and I would have to say that I think creatively and visually, it was one of the most spectacular things that they've done. So it's really a credit to all of us to be acknowledged in that way."

Speaking on THE WIZ LIVE's unique design challenges, Tazewell adds, "Trying to create fantasy magic for a television venue that would appeal to viewers was the overall biggest challenge. Creating these worlds that people have never seen before and having it operate in a way that's right before your eyes, as in live theater, I think that's what made it challenging all the way around. And as in any musical, you have to design so that costumes function. With THE WIZ, you've got these crazy shapes and things that are sculptural and have an edgy fashion-forward feel, but then they still need to move and express the story in a way that Kenny [Leon] wanted it to be done, so that always involves a number of different challenges when you're dealing with a musical."

Production Designer Derek McLane (two-time 2016 Emmy nominee for 'The Oscars' and 'The Wiz Live'): "I was on a plane at London Heathrow, headed back to NYC. Just after they'd had told us to switch off our phones, someone from my studio texted me and said 'congratulations.' Since I was in a completely different time zone, I was like, 'oh, wait--the nominations! Did I get nominated?' And she texted back 'Twice!" It was a lovely surprise, and then my phone went dead as the plane took off. Thank god for airplane wifi, as I was able to get online and get the full story and write the producers Neil Meron, Craig Zadan and David Hill and Reggie Hudlin, to say 'thank you!'. It was a lovely way to come home."

Executive Producer Neil Meron: "This year's Emmy nominations reflect the impact that Live Musicals have had on the industry and we couldn't be prouder. Congratulations to all the brilliant nominees for The Wiz Live."

NBC's holiday production of THE WIZ LIVE! aired live on December 3rd, 2016. The show starred newcomer Shanice Williamsas Dorothy alongside Grammy and Golden Globe-winner Queen Latifah as the Wizard, nine-time Grammy-winner Mary J. Blige as Evillene, original Dorothy, Stephanie Mills, as Auntie Em and David Alan Grier as the Cowardly Lion.

"The Wiz Live!" was adapted from "The Wonderful Wizard of Oz" by L. Frank Baum, with a book by William F. Brown, and music and lyrics by Charlie Smalls. Craig Zadan and Neil Meron ("The Sound of Music Live!," "Peter Pan Live!") served as executive producers. Tony winner Kenny Leon directed with Harvey Fierstein providing new written material. Fatima Robinson served as choreographer. "The Wiz" tells the classic story hundreds of millions of people have read in the L. Frank Baumbooks and then saw in the much-beloved 1939 film "The Wizard of Oz," but retold in an African-American/multicultural context.

Below, return to the magical land of Oz with video and photos from the Emmy-nominated broadcast!

The cast of THE WIZ: LIVE! perform the number "A Brand New Day" live at the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade 2015


Shanice Williams sings "When I Think of Home" in this WIZ LIVE first look:


Amber Riley & Shanice Williams perform "He's The Wiz"


THE WIZ LIVE cast close the show with "Home/Finale"

Photos: Virginia Sherwood/NBC

high res photos

BWW Exclusive: THE WIZ LIVE's Paul Tazewell, Derek McLane & Neil Meron React to Emmy Nominations
Shanice Williams as Dorothy, Stephanie Mills as Auntie Em

BWW Exclusive: THE WIZ LIVE's Paul Tazewell, Derek McLane & Neil Meron React to Emmy Nominations
Elijah Kelley as Scarecrow, Ne-Yo as Tin-Man, Mary J Blige as Evillene

BWW Exclusive: THE WIZ LIVE's Paul Tazewell, Derek McLane & Neil Meron React to Emmy Nominations
Mary J Blige as Evillene

BWW Exclusive: THE WIZ LIVE's Paul Tazewell, Derek McLane & Neil Meron React to Emmy Nominations
Queen Latifah as The Wiz, Elijah Kelley as Scarecrow, Shanice Williams as Dorothy, David Alan Grier as Lion

BWW Exclusive: THE WIZ LIVE's Paul Tazewell, Derek McLane & Neil Meron React to Emmy Nominations
David Alan Grier as Lion, Shanice Williams as Dorothy, Elijah Kelley as Scarecrow, Common as The Bouncer

BWW Exclusive: THE WIZ LIVE's Paul Tazewell, Derek McLane & Neil Meron React to Emmy Nominations
David Alan Grier as Lion, Shanice Williams as Dorothy, Elijah Kelley as Scarecrow, Ne-Yo as Tin-Man

BWW Exclusive: THE WIZ LIVE's Paul Tazewell, Derek McLane & Neil Meron React to Emmy Nominations
Elijah Kelley as Scarecrow, Ne-Yo as Tin-Man, Shanice Williams as Dorothy, David Alan Grier as Lion

BWW Exclusive: THE WIZ LIVE's Paul Tazewell, Derek McLane & Neil Meron React to Emmy Nominations
Ne-Yo as Tin-Man, Shanice Williams as Dorothy, Elijah Kelley as Scarecrow

BWW Exclusive: THE WIZ LIVE's Paul Tazewell, Derek McLane & Neil Meron React to Emmy Nominations
Amber Riley as Addapearle, Shanice Williams as Dorothy

BWW Exclusive: THE WIZ LIVE's Paul Tazewell, Derek McLane & Neil Meron React to Emmy Nominations
Shanice Williams as Dorothy, Stephanie Mills as Auntie Em



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