Avery Wilson, photo provided by DKC/O&M
Producers Kristin Caskey, Mike Isaacson, Brian Anthony Moreland, Ambassador Theatre Group, Kandi Burruss and Todd Tucker are thrilled to announce casting for the beloved roles of the Lion, Tinman and Scarecrow in the all-new production of the groundbreaking, Tony Award-winning hit musical The Wiz, in advance of its highly anticipated Broadway return in the Spring of 2024.
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 be making their Broadway debuts. Additional casting will be announced in the coming weeks.
Featuring a book by William F. Brown and a Tony Award-winning score by Charlie Smalls (and others), director Schele Williams (The Notebook, revival of Disney’s Aida), award-winning choreographer JaQuel Knight (Beyonce’s “Single Ladies,” Black is King), additional material by Emmy-nominated writer and TV host Amber Ruffin (“The Amber Ruffin Show,” “Late Night With Seth Meyers”), Joseph Joubert (music supervision, orchestrations, & music arrangements), and Allen René Louis (vocal arrangements, music arrangements) are conjuring up an Oz unlike anything 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 design team will include scenic design by Academy Award-winning Hannah Beachler (Black Panther, Beyonce’s Black is King and Lemonade), costume design by Emmy Award-winning and two-time Academy Award-nominated Sharen Davis (Ray, Dreamgirls), lighting design by Barrymore Award-winning Ryan J. O’Gara (Thoughts of a Colored Man), sound design by Jon Weston (Parade) and wig design by Academy Award-winning Mia Neal (Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom).
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, 2023. Following its run at the Hippodrome Theatre, the tour will slide into Emerald cities across the country before it begins its limited engagement on Broadway in the Spring 2024.
Tickets are currently available exclusively 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 as well as follow The Wiz on social media channels.
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 Wiz premiered on Broadway in 1975 and became an instant sensation, going on to win seven Tony Awards including Best Musical, Best Original Score, Best Featured Actor in a Musical (Ted Ross), Best Featured Actress in a Musical (Dee Dee Bridgewater), Best Choreography (George Faison), and in a Broadway first, Best Direction of a Musical and Best Costume Design (Geoffrey Holder). “Ease on Down the Road” became the show’s break-out single, and “Home” has since become a bona fide classic. That original production ran for four years (first at The Majestic Theatre and later at The Broadway Theatre) – and 1,672 performances – on Broadway. A 1978 film adaptation starred Diana Ross, Ted Ross, Mabel King, Richard Pryor and Lena Horne, and marked Quincy Jones’ first collaboration with Michael Jackson.