7:21 PM / Thursday January 26, 2023

26 Nov 2015

‘The Wiz Live!’ presents its full cast and several new additions

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November 26, 2015 Category: Entertainment Posted by:

By Tambay A. Obenson

Shadow and Act

Mary J. Blige

Mary J. Blige

Complete casting has now been set for NBC’s December 3 broadcast of “The Wiz Live.” Joining the previously-cast Shanice Williams, Stephanie Mills, Uzo Aduba, Queen Latifah, Mary J. Blige, David Alan Grier, David Alan Grier, Common, Ne-Yo, and Elijah Kelley are recently announced additions: Chris Borrero, James Brown III, Olutayo Bosede, Elon Van Buckley, Ta’rea Campbell, Jessica Castro, Kacie Garland, Asmeret Ghebremichael, Frankie Gordils, Khadija Griffith, Tre Holloway, Antonio Hudnell, Carlos Irizarry, Marcus Paul James, Frederic Jean, Capathia Jenkins, Mykal Kilgore, Tamika Lawrence, India R. McGee, Maurice Murphy, Antonio Moore, Danielle Polanco, Malaiyka Reid, Eric Sanchez, Sherisse Springer, Chris Silcox, Ahmahd Thomas, Raphael Thomas, Alex Wade, Donald Webber, DaShaun Wesley, Xavier Wilcher and NaTasha Williams.

NBC announced an open casting call for the lead role of Dorothy in May and newcomer Shanice Williams was cast as Dorothy, beating out lots of competition – potentially the break of a lifetime for the actress/singer.

enter_11-29-15aSM03Williams joins Grier, who will play the Cowardly Lion; Latifah stars as the Wiz; Blige will play Evillene, the Wicked Witch of the West; Mills (who played Dorothy in the original Broadway production of “The Wiz”) will portray Auntie Em; Common will play the Bouncer, the gatekeeper of the entrance to Emerald City; Ne-Yo will play the Tin Man; and Kelley will play the Scarecrow in NBC’s December production.

“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 executive produce. Kenny Leon (Tony winner, “A Raisin in the Sun”) is stage director and Matthew Diamond is TV director, with Harvey Fierstein (three-time Tony winner, Torch Song Trilogy, Hairspray and La Cage aux Folles) providing new written material.

Uzo Aduba

Uzo Aduba

Esteemed choreographer Fatima Robinson (Dreamgirls, Ali) is also on board, along with music producer Harvey Mason Jr. (Dreamgirls, Pitch Perfect 2) and Stephen Oremus (“The Book of Mormon,” “Kinky Boots”) as music director, orchestrator and co-producer of the music.

“The Wiz Live!” is produced by Universal Television in association with Cirque Du Soleil Theatrical.

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