As the date looms ever closer, we are shining our ruby red slippers and making sure our oilcans are topped off in preparation of NBC’s The Wiz Live! to be broadcast on December 3. While we previously reported on the leads for this epic production, we now have a full cast list! Joining Ne-Yo as the “Tinman,” Elijah Kelley (Lee Daniels’ “The Butler”) as the “Scarecrow,” Shanice Williams as “Dorothy” and David Alan Grier as “The Cowardly Lion” and more is the ensemble, in alphabetical order: Chris Borrero, Olutayo Bosede, James Brown III, 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, Antonio Moore, Maurice Murphy, Danielle Polanco, Malaiyka Reid, Eric Sanchez, Chris Silcox, Sherisse Springer, Ahmahd Thomas, Raphael Thomas, Elon Van Buckley, Alex Wade, Donald Webber, DaShaun Wesley, Xavier Wilcher, and NaTasha Williams.
True to their word of incorporating amazing acrobatic feats, several of the ensemble cast have experience as Cirque du Soleil performers. We can’t wait to see how choreographer Fatima Robinson has these amazing performers soaring.
Academy Award nominee Queen Latifah & Grammy Award winner Mary J. Blige are also in the cast of The Wiz Live. 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,” Uzo Aduba as Glinda The Good Witch, and Amber Riley as Addaperle, 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. William F. Brown wrote the original book of the show. This time around, Broadway legend Harvey Fierstein will add new material to the book.