Stephanie Mills absolutely blew everybody’s socks off during NBC’s The Wiz Live! on Thursday.
While Stephanie Mills was one of the lesser known cast members to this generation, she made an impression with a voice that hasn’t been touched by age since her original performance 40 years ago as Dorothy.
Stephanie Mills held her own against musical superpowers Queen Latifah and Mary J. Blige and her enthusiasm for the show shined in every song.
Stephanie Mills held the starring role of Dorothy in the original Broadway production, but was just as wonderful as Aunt Em on Thursday’s show.
To Stephanie Mills, it was coming home.
She said, “I’m so glad and so happy that the journey continues. Forty years ago, who knew that ‘The Wiz’ would be thought about, let alone be relevant in 2015.”
She added, “It’s almost surreal re-living it, because as I sit back and watch the rehearsals, in my mind I go back to when I first did the rehearsals back in 1975. And it’s like wow, this is really happening.“
The original Broadway version of “The Wiz” won 7 Tony Awards and earned Stephanie Mills a Drama Desk Award nomination.
Being a seasoned stage performer, Stephanie Mills was prepared, but still a little nervous before the live event on Thursday.
She said, “I am so nervous, but what has helped it is that I’ve been rehearsing for two months, and we’ve been rehearsing it like a Broadway show. I’m comfortable with Broadway and doing shows with theater. I can do that with my eyes closed.”
She added, “So as long as I think that in my head — that it’s just another performance — I’ll be fine. You get nervous when you start to think ‘Oh, why is there so many cameras,’ but if I think ‘This is a show at the theater’ I’m going to be fine.”
And fine she was! Such a great performance by this treasured icon!
What did you think of Stephanie Mills as Aunt Em versus her turn as Dorothy?