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Nothing To Do With Tennis: Why Is Stephanie Mills Not Getting Any Props As The Wiz Hits Broadway Again?

Friday, June 19, 2009

Black Tennis Pro's Ashanti In The WizAshanti as Dorothy in "The Wiz"

Black Tennis Pro's Stephanie Mills Home Album CoverLet me begin by saying that I am very glad to see The Wiz back on Broadway, if only for a short period. I really like Ashanti, who will be playing the fabulous role of Dorothy. She's beautiful and talented and should be able to turn in a great performance. That said, why in the hell is Diana Ross still getting props for her "portrayal" of Dorothy?

The fact that Diana Ross was cast as Dorothy in the film version of The Wiz mystifies me to this day ... oh, wait, no it doesn't. Motown acquired the film rights didn't they? That explains it.

Can the international entertainment superstardom of Ms. Ross be denied? No indeed, and you would never catch me even considering the thought. Ms. Ross has my unyielding respect for the career she has amassed - Stop. Ms. Ross was no Dorothy. I believe the woman was in her early thirties, and though attractive, she did not look like the 'young' woman she was supposed to be portraying.

Although I was particularly peeved that Stephanie Mills had been given the boot from the film, I was even more bitterly disappointed when I saw the movie. Karma is a bankable currency and those who thought placing Ross in the role of Dorothy found that out - right in the pocket. Shame on them all these years later for dismissing Mills for what they thought would be a box office bonanza.

The Dorothy that should be getting some residual love off of this new production is none other than the originator of the role, Stephanie Mills. Anyone that has ever sat in a theater seat and heard that big voice come out of such a petite woman would never forget it. I have NEVER heard anyone sing "Home" like Mills, or turn in a better performance than her in this role. Ignoring the life that Mills breathed into Dorothy simply to keep Ross elevated for her lukewarm attempt is just ridiculous.

Posted by Shelia

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