NBC have finally found their Dorothy for the upcoming live TV broadcast of musical 'The Wiz'. Shanice Williams, an 18 year old New Jersey native, has been announced as being cast in the role for the production which will air live on NBC December 3rd.
Shanice Williams will join Queen Latifah in 'The Wiz' live.
Speaking on the ‘Today’ show the young actress said, "This is always what I wanted to do. So I guess I'm ready. I'm ready now.” So far the special has also cast Queen Latifah as The Wiz, Mary J. Blige as the Wicked Witch of the West and David Alan Grier as the Cowardly Lion.
'The Wiz' is adapted from Frank L. Baum’s The Wonderful Wizard of Oz and written by William F. Brown, with music and lyrics by Charlie Smalls. In 1975 the musical opened on Broadway and went on to win seven Tony awards including best musical.
In 1978 the musical hit the big screen with Diana Ross as Dorothy as well as Lena Horne, Richard Pryor, Nipsey Russell, Ted Ross and Michael Jackson as the Scarecrow.
The NBC production comes off the heels of 2013’s ‘The Sound of Music’, starring Carrie Underwood which pulled in around 19 million viewers for the network. Last year a production of ‘Peter Pan Live!’ starring Allison Williams proved to be much less successful.
NBC have also enlisted Cirque du Solei as their production partner for the special and if all goes according to plan the musical will also be revived on Broadway for the 2016-17 season.