The Wiz Update: A Star is on the Rise & David Alan Grier to Play the Cowardly Lion






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NBC has announced that they have found its Cowardly Lion for “The Wiz Live!” David Alan Grier is set to play the role in December’s live telecast. Grier is no stranger to the spotlight. He performed in the original Broadway production of Dreamgirls. The three-time Tony Award nominee also starred in popular TV shows such as In Living Color, Law & Order SVU, and Martin.



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David Alan Grier will be working alongside Queen Latifah, the titular wizard, and Mary J. Blige as Evillene, the Wicked Witch of the West. Stephanie Mills, The Wiz’s original Dorothy in the broadway production, will be starring as Auntie Em in the telecast. The executive producers of The Sound of Music Live! and Peter Pan Live!, Craig Zadan and Neil Meron, will be taking on The Wiz.




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There are big names that are involved with The Wiz Live! but they better keep an eye out for a star that’s on the rise. Shanice Williams, an 18 year old from New Jersey, landed the role as Dorothy. After competing against hundreds of applicants, the producers decided the she was the best one for the part. Shanice shared in a Today Show interview that she wasn’t expecting to get the part. In fact, she only went to the New York audition for the learning experience. After following her dreams, Shanice will now be following the yellow brick road!




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There are high expectations for the live telecast. The original broadway show that opened back in 1975, went on to win seven Tony awards.  According to NBC, The Wiz Live!, airs Thursday, December 3. Keep an eye out for this talented cast!

-Alexandria Moreland
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