Round-up post of NBC’s casting announcements for The Wiz Live, including newcomer Shanice Williams as Dorothy, Queen Latifah as the Wiz, Ne-Yo as the Tin Man, and Uzo Aduba as Glinda, the Good Witch.
Ever since NBC announced that their next live-action holiday musical would be The Wiz Live!, I know we’ve all been extremely eager to learn who would be a part of the cast!
Back in May we learned that Stephanie Mills (who played the original Dorothy in the 1975 production) been cast as Auntie Em! Well recently, NBC has made even more casting announcements, so keep reading to find out what we know so far.
Earlier this month, NBC announced that rising star Shanice Williams, an 18-year-old New Jersey native, will star as the new Dorothy. Shanice was selected out of hundreds of applicants nationwide who had auditioned in an open casting call.
In the first video below, watch as Shanice learns she’s been cast as the new Dorothy. And in the second video, she also stops by the TODAY Show to share her excitement about the role:
As mentioned, Queen Latifah will play the Wiz, the mysterious and powerful wizard who holds the keys to the Emerald City, but whose metamorphosis from ordinary to extraordinary is itself a hoax. She rose to her lofty position after being transported by accident to Oz in a hot air balloon during a snowstorm.
Mary J. Blige joins the cast as Evillene, the Wicked Witch of the West, who holds sway over the Winkies and the Winged Monkeys that do her bidding. She captures Dorothy and her friends to avenge the unintentional murder of her evil sister, Evvamean, and to get back the powerful silver slippers given to Dorothy by the Good Witch of the North.
Also, David Alan Grier will play the Cowardly Lion, who asks Dorothy if he can join her in her journey down the Yellow Brick Road and ask the Wiz for some courage, which he is severely lacking.
In the last last week, NBC has also revealed that Ne-Yo will play the Tin Man, who was once a flesh-and-blood woodsman but a spell put on him by the Wicked Witch causes him to lose his limbs and heart. He learns that he’s never lost the ability to feel.
Elijah Kelley will play the Scarecrow, the first of the three friends to meet Dorothy and who has always dreamed of having brains, but never realizing that he’s the smartest of them all.
Common will play the Bouncer, the gatekeeper of the entrance to Emerald City who is out to get what he can from Dorothy and her three friends.
Uzo Aduba will play Glinda, the Good Witch of the South, who finally reveals the secret of the silver slippers to Dorothy and points her way home.
Finally, Amber Riley will play Addaperle, the Good Witch of the North who isn’t the best at magic but she does try. She is a sister of Glinda, Evillene and Evvamene, the other three witches of Oz. She points Dorothy to the Yellow Brick Road and her journey to Emerald City.
What do you think about all this casting news?
The Wiz Live! is produced by Universal Television in association with Cirque Du Soleil Theatrical and will air on NBC on Thursday, December 3, 2015!