My dream casting for NBC’s ‘The Wiz: Live TV Musical’

The Wiz (photo: Universal Pictures)

What’s new MMT Family?  So, NBC threw me for a loop with its March 30 announcement that THE WIZ would be its next live TV musical to air – with a date given of Dec. 3. “The Wiz” is an all-time favorite and, I’ll be honest, I found it very hard to come up with a list that seemed fitting and definitely struggled a bit when it came to certain characters – for instance Dorothy.

I saw several writers and bloggers posts about possible casting and came to one major conclusion about myself – I am truly old school! Now, I understand that batons need to be passed and all but there was not one mention, that I found, of the person I believe should be among the first to be cast – the première Dorothy herself, Ms. Stephanie Mills! Of course not in the role of Dorothy – no offense Ms. Mills – but I certainly think it would be cool to see her in the opposite role of Evilene and it’d be really nostalgic if she in fact was Glinda the Good. But, I’ll settle for Aunt Em NBC, so just make it happen! Now Ms. Mills is my ultimate wish, but here’s a wish list I also put together for several other key characters:

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  • Usher – I saw a couple of writers mention him as Scarecrow and he is my first choice as well.  As a matter of fact, Michael Jackson’s Scarecrow was the first character I thought of and Usher immediately came to mind. He’s appeared in several films, and is a triple threat with the vocal chops and dancing to boot.  It’s a no-brainer NBC!
  • Jamie Foxx – would be perfect as The Wiz!  He has the comedic timing, can portray the vulnerability also needed with the role, and can sing to boot!
  • Phylicia Rashad – if not Ms. Mills, then it would be really great to see Ms. Rashad as Glinda the Good! Another nostalgic choice, Ms. Rashad was one of the original 1975 musical’s cast members – she played various roles including understudy for Glinda – and she has a magnificent voice. The uber talented Audra McDonald would also knock this role out of the park, but I really need my nostalgic fix, okay?
  • David Mann – I know many of you wouldn’t have come up with this choice, but I believe David Mann would be excellent as the Lion!!! He is a stone cold comedic fool, and can sing the phone book! Pay attention NBC, he is the truth! But if not Mr. Mann…can James Monroe Iglehart work around his Aladdin duties as Genie to film this?!?! He’d be a perfect Lion as well!
  • Keke Palmer – this beautiful young woman seems to be the favorite choice for many and, although I knew she was a great actress, I didn’t realize she could sing – yes, clearly I’d forgotten that she was Broadway’s first African-American “Cinderella!” That is until the release of the song from her latest film, Brotherly Love, and this impromptu posting to her Facebook page last week – in which she gives a pretty good rendition of The Wiz’s signature song, “Home.”

Well MMT Fam, that’s as far as I could stretch my imagination with this one. I really had a hard time coming up with a choice for Tin Man! I used Jamie Foxx for The Wiz, but he was the only person who came to mind for me with Tin Man too. Who do you think would be a good choice? What about your choices for the others?

Ooh, one more thing, I am not certain if NBC is doing a combination of the movie and musical book, or sticking with one vs. the other. But just in case, Ms. Mills could be either Miss One (movie character) or Addaperle, the Good Witch of the North (musical character) too! Yes, I’m arguing my ultimate wish to the bitter end!

Alright fam, let me know your thoughts on this one! Can’t wait to hear them. Until next thought, Thomasena

GIVEAWAY: advanced screening of EMPIRE on December 9 (Philly, PA)

Empire (photo: FOX)

Happy Wednesday MMT Family!  Are you excited about the new FOX drama EMPIRE from Oscar nominated director Lee Daniels and Emmy award-winning writer Danny Strong? Well the show’s premiere doesn’t air until January, but 25 lucky winners and their guests will get to screen it next Tuesday night here in Philly – Mr. Daniels’ hometown.

Want to put your name in the hat?  Make sure you 1) are subscribed to this website and 2) send an email to with the subject line “EMPIRE” and your full name in the body. All winners will be notified by Sunday, December 7.

Checkout the synopsis and show trailer below, and get more info about EMPIRE at the official website here.

Good luck family. Until next thought, Thomasena

EMPIRE synopsis 

From Academy Award nominee Lee Daniels (“Lee Daniels’ The Butler,” “Precious”) and Emmy Award winner Danny Strong (“Lee Daniels’ The Butler,” “Game Change”), comes EMPIRE, a sexy and powerful new drama about the head of a music empire whose three sons and ex-wife all battle for his throne.

LUCIOUS LYON (Academy Award nominee Terrence Howard, “Crash,” “Hustle & Flow”) is the king of hip-hop. An immensely talented artist, the CEO of Empire Entertainment and a former street thug, his reign has been unchallenged for years. But all that changes, when he learns he has a disease that is going to render him crippled and incapacitated in a matter of three years. The clock is ticking, and he must groom one of his three sons to take over his crowning achievement, without destroying his already fractured family.

GIVEAWAY: special screening of ‘Forgotten Four’ Thursday, September 18 (Philly, PA)

Forgotten Four (photo: EPIX)

Happy Monday MMT Family! I’m really excited about this particular giveaway! MMT has obtained 30 admit-two passes to a special advance screening of FORGOTTEN FOUR: The Integration of Pro Football, an EPIX Original documentary, showing this Thursday, September 18 in Philadelphia.  The documentary, by 8-time Peabody Award winning producer Ross Greenburg, highlights sports historians and family members recalling the real-life struggles and broad cultural impact of four African-American athletes – Kenny Washington, Woody Strode, Marion Motley and Bill Willis – credited with breaking through professional football’s color barrier in 1946.  .

The documentary was executive produced by Wesley E. Smith (University of Penn alumni), who will attend the screening, and 610 WIP radio host Anthony Gargano will mediate a panel discussion afterward that will also include Ken Shropshire (of Wharton School).

The first 30 people to send an email to with the subject line “Forgotten Four” will receive additional RSVP instructions to attend.  For additional information about the film you can check out the below trailer and go to the official website here. FORGOTTEN FOUR will première on EPIX Tuesday, September 23 at 8pm.

That’s it for now family.  Good luck!

Until next thought, Thomasena


GIVEAWAY: special live screening of ‘Mayweather vs Maidana 2’ Saturday, September 13 (Philly, PA)

MAYWEATHER vs. MAIDANA (photo: Fathom Events)

Happy Thursday MMT Family!!!!  Okay, I have 5 pairs of passes to the special live screening of the Mayweather vs. Maidana 2 on Saturday, September 13 at a theater location here in Philly!

Want to put your name in the that?  You must be a follower of this website and send an email with the subject line “Mayweather vs. Maidana” to  I will select five winners and notify them by tomorrow evening.

You can get additional info below about this Fathom event or click here to go to the official website and purchase tickets.

Good Luck family!  Until next thought, Thomasena

Special Fathom Feature: Mayhem: Mayweather vs. Maidana 2 broadcast LIVE from the MGM Grand in Las Vegas

Fathom Events, O’Reilly Auto Parts, Mayweather Promotions, Golden Boy Promotions and Showtime bring you the highly anticipated rematch between eleven-time world champion Floyd “Money” Mayweather and the dangerous, power-punching Marcos “El Chino” Maidana. After their thrilling fight earlier this year, which left sports fans clamoring for more, the two prizefighters will face each other again when Mayhem: Mayweather vs. Maidana 2 is broadcast LIVE from the MGM Grand in Las Vegas to select movie theaters nationwide on Saturday, September 13 at 8:00 p.m. ET/5:00 p.m. PT.

This exciting rematch will undoubtedly test the skill and will of both fighters in this electrifying showdown that is set to finish that which was started the first time they met. Despite the brutal nature of their first meeting, Mayweather has chosen to give Maidana a chance to redeem himself and rightfully earn a victory against the undefeated champion by facing off in a rematch that is sure to bring mayhem to the ring!

Don’t miss it LIVE and on the Big Screen – where every seat is ringside!

GIVEAWAY: advanced screening for Fox’s ‘Red Band Society’ on Thursday, June 26


What’s new MMT Family?  We’ve been invited to take part in a special advance screening of a new show debuting this Fall on FOX called RED BAND SOCIETY, starring Octavia Spencer. This special preview screening will take place on Thursday, June 26 at 7 pm.  All attendees will be “treated” to free concessions, bracelets and t-shirts as a thank you for coming! There also will be a special treat at the end of the preview –  3 cast members from the show will be at the theater for a Q&A with the audience! To get a pass, follow the instructions below.  Seating and passes are on a first-come, first-served basis.

Special Preview Showing of Fox’s RED BAND SOCIETY
UA Riverview
Thursday, June 26, 2014

Visit – and select PHILADELPHIA to download passes

for you and a guest to attend a preview of the first episode!

Concessions, bracelets and t-shirts will be given out to all guests in attendance!

You can check out the trailer and synopsis below and get additional info at the official website here.

Alright family, let me know what you think about this one!

Until next thought, Thomasena


From Steven Spielberg’s Amblin Television and starring Academy Award-winning actress Octavia Spencer (“The Help,” “Fruitvale Station”), Dave Annable (“Brothers & Sisters,” “666 Park Avenue”) and a charismatic cast of fresh faces, RED BAND SOCIETY is a provocative, unconventional and unique coming-of-age dramedy about a group of unlikely and rule-bending friends and the adults who mentor them through the ups and downs of adolescence in Los Angeles’ Ocean Park Hospital. Exploring everything from strong friendships, and first loves, to humorous mishaps and heartbreaks, the series is a story of life, with an edgy comedic tone all its own.

MusicMovieThoughts Quick Picks 6/29/13

Twenty Feet From Stardom

Hey Music Movie family!  I’ll admit it’s been a bit since the last post, so I have a few recommendations for you this time around!  I want to start by first saying congrats to all the contest winners from this month’s giveaways.  I received great feedback from those who attended both the Fruitvale and Twenty Feet From Stardom screenings.  My personal movie pick for this weekend is “Twenty Feet From Stardom,” which I shared the synopsis and trailer for here (“Fruitvale” opens later in July and I will definitely share more about it in the near future).

In brief, Twenty Feet chronicles the stories of several background singers, some well-known, and a few not as known to the masses.  The doc gets the audience up close and personal with amazing vocalists like Lisa Fischer, Darlene Love, and Merry Clayton, among others, as they share their successes and defeats in the shadows of some of the top artists of their times.  To check release dates and theaters that will show “Twenty Feet From Stardom” in your area click here.   The film was released Friday, 6/28 at the Ritz Bourse here in the Philadelphia area.

I also have a few television picks for next week, and it so happens that each of them premieres on Tuesday, July 2.  The first is the documentary VENUS VS. directed by the superbly talented Ava Duvernay (Middle of Nowhere, I Will Follow).  “VENUS VS.”  highlights Venus Williams’ two-year battle advocating for pay equality for women in professional tennis.  The film will air next Tuesday at 8 p.m. EST on ESPN (check local listings).

Next up is one of my guilty pleasures, and what I am sure will be a new guilty pleasure on the same channel!  I am talking about the mid-season return of The Game Tuesday, July 2 at 10 p.m. EST on BET, followed by the première of Being Mary Jane starring Gabrielle Union at 10:30 p.m.  I know some of my Game die-hards have given up after last season, but I kind of like the Blue and Kiera storyline, and would like to see where it leads.  I also want to see Pookie go off when he finds out what Tasha has been up to behind his back!

With this next pick I’m definitely behind, but I really enjoyed Man of Steel.  It is probably the action film I had the most fun viewing thus far this summer.  This version delved into the psyche of young Clark Kent, and really had you vested in his journey to find out who he truly was as an adult.  The one con with the film, for me, was some of the CGI and the destruction scenes.  They were a bit much, and I could have done with a few less buildings being demolished, a few less windows being shattered, and hypothetically a few less persons dying!  On a scale of 1 to 10, I’d give it an 8.5.

I did also see and partly enjoyed World War Z, but I must admit I felt it was a mash-up of I Am Legend and Contagion.  If you’re a Brad Pitt and/or a zombie fan (or gamer) you’ll probably get your money’s worth, otherwise I would recommend checking out one of the former picks first.  Biggest con: there was a moment where I questioned the political correctness of one of the geographic choices and religious characterizations in the film.  But since I don’t do spoilers, I’ll just say pay attention to the Jerusalem wall scene and let me know your thoughts in the comment section below! That way if anyone dares to read the comments, it will be at their own risk. :)

Alright family, I believe that’s it…ooh wait!  I also saw White House Down and can sum that up in six words: Die Hard With A White House!  Was I at all entertained?  Of course, Jamie Foxx (Django Unchained, Ray) and Channing Tatum (21 Jump Street, The Vow) are in it; but I’m sorry our armed service and secret service branches are not nearly as dumb as this movie made them out to be, and I couldn’t suspend disbelief that much!

Okay, now that’s really it. :)  Until next thought family, Thomasena