( ENSPIRE Entertainment ) The Super Soul Musical “Wonderful Wizard of Oz”, The Wiz, Is Coming Back to Broadway
ENSPIRE Contributor: Daniel Garritson
The Wiz is seeing a highly anticipated return to Broadway in the Spring of 2024. Based on L. Frank Baum’s children’s book, “The Wonderful Wizard of Oz”, The Wiz takes one of the world’s most enduring (and enduringly white) American fantasies and transforms it into an all-Black musical extravaganza for the ages. The musical was first performed on Broadway in 1974. It was a smash success, seeing a film adaptation in 1978 and a Broadway revival in 1984. It has had multiple revivals across the globe, and most recently saw a live television production of the stage musical, The Wiz Live! on NBC in 2015.
Producers Kristin Caskey, Mike Isaacson, Brian Anthony Moreland, Ambassador Theatre Group, Kandi Burruss, and Todd Tucker are thrilled to announce casting of the beloved roles of the Lion, Tinman, and Scarecrow in the all-new production of the groundbreaking, Tony Award-winning hit musical The Wiz.
The cast will include Kyle Ramar Freeman (A Strange Loop) as the Lion, Phillip Johnson Richardson (Sharper, Apple+) as the Tinman, and Avery Wilson (The Voice) as the Scarecrow, respectively. Richardson and Wilson will make their Broadway debuts. Wayne Brady will also play the titular Wiz. Additional casting will be announced in the coming weeks.
In the past, iconic actors and musicians have played these roles. In the film adaptation, Nipsey Russell, Ted Ross, and none other than the King of Pop Michael Jackson portrayed the trio. For The Wiz Live! TV production on NBC featured R&B icon Ne-Yo, screen musical singer Elijah Kelley, and David Alan Grier of “In Living Color” and “Martin” fame. The new cast has big shoes to fill, but ENSPIRE is confident they will shine and carry on the legacy of the previous actors.
Featuring a book by William F. Brown and a Tony Award-winning score by Charlie Smalls (and others), director Schele Williams (The Notebook), award-winning choreographer JaQuel Knight (Beyonce’s “Single Ladies”), additional material by Emmy-nominated writer and TV host Amber Ruffin (“Late Night With Seth Meyers”), Joseph Joubert (music supervision, orchestrations, & music arrangements), and Allen René Louis (vocal arrangements, music arrangements) is conjuring up an Oz unlike anything is ever seen before. A dynamite infusion of ballet, jazz, and modern pop will bring a whole new groove to easing on down the road.
The Wiz will launch its national tour in the Fall of 2023 in Baltimore, MD, home of the 1974 world premiere of the musical, September 23-30. Following its run at the Hippodrome Theatre, the tour will slide into Emerald cities nationwide before it begins its limited engagement on Broadway in the Spring of 2024.
Tickets are available only as part of season subscription packages and group sales in each tour city. Additional information on tour cities, venues, performance schedules, and single-ticket on-sale dates is available at WizBroadway.com. Fans can now sign up for an email newsletter with up-to-date information and follow The Wiz on social media channels.