We're off to see the Wizard!
NBC is getting ready for their next live musical production The Wiz Live! as a follow up to their previous successes Sound of Music and Peter Pan!
Well now we have some WONDERFUL news from the world of Oz! Not only has the production found its Cowardly Lion, but they've cast their Dorothy too!
[ Related: Rumer Willis Is Making Her Broadway Debut In The Musical Chicago! ]
The Lion who only needs a little bit of courage will be played by none other than the three-time Tony Award nominee David Alan Grier!
This is an AH-Mazing casting! Aside from his numerous television and film credits, Greir appeared in several Broadway productions including the original production Dreamgirls, The First, Race, and The Gershwins' Porgy and Bess — which actually earned him a Tony and Grammy nomination!
But we've got more good news! Dorothy has officially been cast and she'll be played by Shanice Williams!
Williams actually beat out hundreds of other women auditioning for the role since NBC held an open casting call, as they sought an African-American woman somewhere between 18 and 27 years old who has an extraordinary enough voice to carry the show! You can actually check out the moment she found out she landed the part and part of her performance in the clip (below)!
The show has already cast Queen Latifah as the Wiz, Mary J. Blige as the Wicked Witch of the West, and Stephanie Mills — who played Dorothy in the original Broadway production of the show — as Aunt Em!
The 1975 Broadway production of The Wiz — which is an African-American/multicultural retelling of L. Frank Baum's classic novel, The Wizard of Oz — was so successful that it ran for four years on Broadway, and won seven Tonys! It was even turned into a movie in 1978 starring Diana Ross, Michael Jackson, Lena Horne, and Richard Pryor!
With all that history, we can't wait to see what Grier and Williams due and we'll be waiting in anticipation for December 3, when it airs on NBC!
[Image via C.Smith/WENN/Today.]
Tags: broadway, film flickers, l. frank baum, mary j. blige, michael jackson, music minute, musical, queen latifah, shanice williams, stephanie mills, tv news