And I am SOSOSO happy to report that for the most part the play was really good. As expected, LaChanze (she played Celie in Oprah's The Color Purple musical) was phenomenal. Orlando Jones looks like he's put on a couple of pounds but still dead on as The Wiz. I seriously heart the Scarecrow, Tin Man And Cowardly Lion. Them brother right there can BLOW. And don't sleep, even though she only had two and a half scenes, Tichina Arnold straight STOLE the show as Evillene (the Wicked Witch of the West).
But I did say for the most part. As in not completely... Sigh.
Poor, poor Ashanti. Her costume was probably the most unflattering thing I've seen in a LONG time. Cause we all know that girl got cankles and big feet. Who in the unholy costume-design-school-dropout HELL thought it would be cute to put her in a dress that tea length dress and black Converse sneakers??
And even though it seemed like they tried to rearrange the tone/pitch of the songs to accommodate her limited range, homegirl still came up waaaay short. Although, I must give her points for being creative enough to try and whisper sing (like Janet), so that folks couldn't really tell that she can't sing. Unfortunately, them type of smoke and mirror shenanigans don't really work when you're performing with or right after folks that can really, really SANG.
I just thank GOD that the producers/writers kept her speaking parts to a bare minimum (at least it seemed). So there were moments that you could sorta- if you tried very, very hard and clicked your heel 3x- forget that she was there.