There was so much anticipation and speculation of who will portray the young Dorothy in The Wiz Live set to air on NBC Dec 3rd. Many have voiced their wishes and hopes for their favorite actors & artists to be cast in the role. Janelle Monae, Amber Riley, & Brandy Norwood have been among the consistent names brought up. However, a new comer has come along to save the day.
Well, it looks like young vocal powerhouse Shanice Williamsan, an 18-year-old newcomer from New Jersey, will take on the role of Dorothy. Her voice sounds PERFECT! She’s got the look, the youth, the adorable & vunerability factor. We couldn’t have asked for a better choice! This is everything we asked for. Thank you to Kenny Leon & the entire creative team. Williams’ casting was announced on “The Today Show” Aug. 5. an 18-year-old newcomer from New Jersey.
Williams was selected from hundreds of young aspirants who auditioned across the U.S. She has five years of musical training that also includes extensive dance and piano. Williams has co-starred in several local productions, including West Side Story; You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown; 42nd Street; Seussical and Pippin. In 2014 Williams was nominated for best leading actress in a musical at the Paper Mill Playhouse’s annual Rising Star Awards.
Williams will join Tony nominee David Alan Grier who will take on the role of “The Cowardly Lion”, as well as join the Academy Award nominee Queen Latifah & Grammy Award winner Mary J. Blige in the cast of The Wiz Live, set to air on NBC Dec. 3rd. Latifah will play “The Wiz”, a role originated on stage by the incomparable Andre De Shields (Ain’t Misbehavin’, The Full Monty). Blige will portray the role of “Evillene”, the horrible wicked witch known for the upbeat “Don’t Nobody Bring Me No Bad News.” In addition to Stephanie Mills as “Aunt Em”, who was also previously announced.
Tony Award winner Kenny Leon will direct & Fatima Robinson will choreograph, as previously announced. The show will also head to Broadway in 2016 with Leon directing. The Wiz for NBC will partner with Cirque du Soleil to bring the live and Broadway productions to life. The original book of the show was written by William F. Brown. This time around, Broadway legend Harvey Fierstein will add new material to the book.
Universal Television will produce. Casting for both the NBC telecast and Cirque du Soleil‘s Broadway production will be announced at a later date.
Also check out Broadway World’s exclusive interview with the new starlet and hear her sing a snippet of “Home” from The Wiz!