More casting has been revealed for the upcoming Broadway-bound touring revival of The Wiz, set to launch at Baltimore, Maryland's Hippodrome Theatre September 26. Schele Williams is directing the new production with choreography by JaQuel Knight.
Newly announced is casting for the title role. Wayne Brady (Hamilton) and Alan Mingo Jr. (Kinky Boots) will share the role of the Wiz, with Brady handling the tour's San Francisco and Los Angeles engagements and Mingo Jr. the other stops. Brady will also play the role when the production comes to Broadway in Spring 2024, with a theatre and specific dates to be announced.
Brady and Mingo Jr. join a previously announced cast that includes Kyle Ramar Freeman (A Strange Loop) as the Lion, Phillip Johnson Richardson (Sharper) as the Tinman, and Avery Wilson (The Voice) as the Scarecrow. Additional casting is to be announced.
The Wiz premiered on Broadway in 1975, transforming L. Frank Baum's classic children's novel into an all-Black "super soul musical," as it was originally billed. A surprise hit of the season, the musical won seven Tony Awards, including Best Musical, Score, Featured Actor in a Musical (Ted Ross), Featured Actress in a Musical (Dee Dee Bridgewater), Choreography (George Faison), and Direction of a Musical and Costume Design (both Geoffrey Holder). The score's "Ease On Down the Road" and "Home" became breakout hits, and original star Stephanie Mills was propelled into stardom. The musical made the jump to the big screen in 1978 with a film adaptation starring Diana Ross, Lena Horne, Richard Pryor, Michael Jackson, and, reprising his Broadway performance as the Cowardly Lion, Ross.
The musical got the live TV treatment via NBC in 2015, a production that was initially announced as being Broadway bound following the television premiere. That revival, which would have been produced by Neil Meron and the late Craig Zadan, never materialized.
For a full itinerary of the upcoming tour, visit WizMusical.com.