NBC’s ‘The Wiz Live’ Event Has Found Its Dorothy!
— NBC (@nbc) August 5, 2015
Update: Entertainment Weekly announced some more casting news today (August 13), reporting that Ne-Yo will play the role of the Tin Man in the upcoming live production. Elijah Kelley has also joined the cast and will play the Scarecrow, while singer Common is set to play the Bouncer, a part that NBC’s Bob Greenblatt has described as a “non-singing comedic role."
Maybe there's no place like home, but there's no beating a starring spot on NBC's The Wiz Live event, either.
Today, the network announced that after an open casting call, it has landed on 18-year-old Shanice Williams to play the part of Dorothy in its December telecast. The production will be based off of the Tony-winning 1974 Broadway production The Super Soul Musical Wonderful Wizard of Oz that followed Dorothy's trek through the mystical Oz and helped to pioneer the acceptance of all-black casts in entertainment. The play was adapted into a movie, The Wiz, in 1978.
In the video tweeted by the network today (August 5) above, Williams finds out she's nabbed the coveted role, and shares her unbridled joy with her mother over the phone. "I have to tell you something," she says as tears begin to manifest. "I got the part!"
(Side note: What a voice...)
NBC also announced yesterday (August 4) that David Alan Grier will join the production as the Cowardly Lion, while BuzzFeed went on to report that Queen Latifah will play The Wiz, and Mary J. Blige will take on the role of the Wicked Witch of the West.
Plus, Stephanie Mills, who starred as Dorothy in the musical's original Broadway production, will assume the role of Aunt Em. And it seems she couldn't be happier about the new Dorothy. "Excited to pass the torch to Shanice Williams!" she tweeted.
Share your thoughts, and hang tight for The Wiz on December 3 on NBC.