BDBB: The Black Dance and Broadway Blog

Covering black professionals and professional productions in the dance and theater worlds, plus general arts news

Theater: New Jersey Teen Named NBC’s Dorothy for “The Wiz”

Shanice-Williams-Dorothy-300x169

Rahway, NJ native Shanice Williams is NBC’s new Dorothy. She’ll ease on down the road when NBC airs an all-new, live production of the musical “The Wiz” on Dec. 3.

The 18-year-old unknown Williams was introduced on Aug. 5 after being selected from a nationwide open casting call.

Williams will join a star-studded cast that will include Queen Latifah as the Wiz, Mary J. Blige as Evillene, actor David Alan Grier as the Cowardly Lion, and Stephanie Mills – Dorothy in the original Broadway production of “The Wiz” – as Auntie Em.

A Broadway revival of “The Wiz” is also being planned for the 2016-17 though casting for the revival has not yet been announced.

“The Wiz,” a black version of L. Frank Baum’s “The Wonderful Wizard of Oz,” originally opened in 1975 and starred then unknown Stephanie Mills as Dorothy. Its score includes songs like “Ease on Down the Road,” “No Bad News,” and “Home.” The musical, which ran for four years, won seven Tony Awards including Best Musical. A slightly revamped version of the show was made into a 1978 film that starred Diana Ross and Michael Jackson.

Shanice Williams audition

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