Ne-Yo and Elijah Kelley in Costume as the Tinman and the Scarecrow for The Wiz Live!
Shanice Williams will star as Dorothy, and David Alan Grier will star as the Cowardly Lion.
NBC's The Wiz Live!, which is scheduled to air December 3, will have a star-studded primary cast that features R&B singer Ne-Yo as the Tin Man, Elijah Kelley (Lee Daniels' The Butler) as the Scarecrow, and David Alan Grier as the Cowardly Lion. For just a taste of what to expect from the production, check out these photos from People.
In addition, newcomer Shanice Williams will take on the leading role of Dorothy for the live broadcast. Additional cast members include rap artist Common (the gatekeeper to Oz), Queen Latifah (the Wiz), Mary J. Blige (Evillene), David Alan Grier (Cowardly Lion), Stephanie Mills (Aunt Em), Orange Is the New Black star Uzo Aduba (Glinda), and Glee's Amber Riley (Addaperle).
Tony winner Kenny Leon (A Raisin in the Sun) will stage the live production, which is based on Charlie Smalls and William F. Brown's Tony-winning stage version. Four-time Tony winner Harvey Fierstein (Kinky Boots) will contribute new material to Brown's book. Craig Zadan and Neil Meron serve as executive producers, with Universal Television producing.
The Wiz, a retelling of L. Frank Baum's classic Wizard of Oz stories, opened on Broadway in 1975 and won seven Tonys including Best Musical and Best Score. A 1978 film version starred Diana Ross and Michael Jackson. It was last seen in a New York City Center Encores! Summer Stars revival in 2009, with a cast led by Ashanti, Orlando Jones, and Tony winner LaChanze.
The live television broadcast of The Wiz serves as the precursor to a Broadway revival, coproduced by Cirque du Soleil's new stage theatrical division, in the 2016-17 Broadway season. The telecast follows The Sound of Music and Peter Pan in NBC's annual series of live musical presentations.