Monday, June 1, 2015

Fatima Robinson, Harvey Mason Jr. and Stephen Oremus Join NBC's ‘The Wiz Live!’

Acclaimed choreographer Fatima Robinson, and two of the most accomplished and influential music professionals from popular music and Broadway — Harvey Mason Jr. and Stephen Oremus — have joined the creative team of NBC’s holiday production of “The Wiz Live!,” set for Thursday, Dec. 3.

Fatima Robinson, who will choreograph “The Wiz Live!,” is widely recognized as one of the most innovative choreographers working in film and TV today. She choreographed the acclaimed film “Dreamgirls” as well as “Ali,” “Collateral,” “Miami Vice” and “Public Enemies.” She is also one of the top performance producers for NBC’s Emmy-winning musical reality-competition series “The Voice.” Her TV work has been featured on several Oscar telecasts, the Super Bowl, Grammys and “The Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show.” She also has many commercials and videos to her credit as both director and choreographer and has worked with most of the top performers in popular music, including Pharrell Williams, Rihanna, Black Eyed Peas, Sade, Brittany Spears, and many other top artists.

Harvey Mason Jr, will serve as music producer. Mason, a music producer for the motion picture “Dreamgirls” and the recent blockbuster “Pitch Perfect 2,” is a songwriter/producer and one half of the hit-making production team The Underdogs. His work on Jennifer Hudson’s first solo album, Chris Brown’s “F.A.M.E.,” Beyonce’s “B-Day,” Justin Timberlake’s “Justified,” Toni Braxton's “He Wasn't Man Enough” and the soundtrack for “Dreamgirls” all resulted in Grammys. In addition, Mason produced three Academy Award-nominated songs in the same year (2006). He has also produced for Elton John, Whitney Houston, Justin Bieber, Jordin Sparks, Aretha Franklin, Britney Spears, Luther Vandross and Mary J. Blige.

Stephen Oremus, a two-time Tony Award and Grammy Award winner, will serve as music director, orchestrator and co-producer of the music. Oremus is a leading music director working on Broadway and has won Tonys for Best Orchestration for his work on “The Book of Mormon” and “Kinky Boots,” as well as the Grammy for both Original Cast Albums. He served as music director, conductor and often orchestrator for a string of Broadway hits that include “Wicked,” “Avenue Q,” “All Shook Up,” and “9 to 5 The Musical.” He most recently was music director of the 87th Academy Awards, teaming with Oscar producers Neil Meron and Craig Zadan.

“The Wiz Live!” is 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. The production opened on Broadway in 1975 at the Majestic Theatre and won seven Tonys, including Best Musical.

Craig Zadan and Neil Meron (“The Sound of Music Live!,” “Peter Pan Live!,” Oscar-winning “Chicago”) will serve as executive producers. Kenny Leon (Tony winner, “A Raisin in the Sun”) will direct, with Harvey Fierstein (three-time Tony winner, “Torch Song Trilogy,” “Hairspray” and “La Cage aux Folles”) providing new written material. “The Wiz Live!” is produced by Universal Television in association with Cirque Du Soleil Theatrical.

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