Stars of Glee and Orange Is the New Black Join NBC's The Wiz Live!
Orange Is the New Black Emmy winner Uzo Aduba and Glee star Amber Riley have joined the cast of NBC's upcoming live broadcast of The Wiz. Broadway vet Aduba (Godspell) will play Glinda, Good Witch of the South, with Riley (Cotton Club Parade) as Addaperle, Good Witch of the North.
They join a cast led by newcomer Shanice Williams as Dorothy, Queen Latifah, and Mary J. Blige as The Wiz and Evilene (Wicked Witch of the West), respectively, original Dorothy Stephanie Mills as Auntie Em, and David Alan Grier as The Cowardly Lion.
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 New York 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, hitting the airwaves December 3, serves as the precursor to a Broadway revival, coproduced by Cirque du Soleil’s new stage theatrical division, in the 2016-2017 Broadway season.