‘The Wiz Live!’ has finally found its Dorothy! NBC announced on Aug. 5 that a newcomer, Shanice Williams, will ease on down the road! Check out a clip from the incredible audition that landed her the part!
Girl isn’t in Kansas anymore, that’s for sure! Shanice Williams, an 18-year-old without any professional credits to her name, will lead NBC’s production of The Wiz Live!, which will be broadcast in real time on Dec. 3. The newcomer joins previously announced cast members Queen Latifah, Mary J. Blige and David Alan Grier in the televised musical. So, what landed the unknown the part of a lifetime? And, more importantly, does she have the chops to pull it off?
Shanice, a native of New Jersey, beat hundreds of other hopefuls, vying for the part of the naive Kansas farm girl who lands herself in the land of Oz after being scooped up and spit out by a tornado. Unlike NBC’s live musicals of the past, which have starred Carrie Underwood and Allison Williams, respectively, Shanice is new to professional show business, having never acted in a professional capacity.
Shanice inked the deal after auditioning in open calls, which were held in both New York and Los Angeles. However, though she’s green, Shanice has got what it takes to set the yellow brick road ablaze (on paper, anyway). Having trained in musical theater for five years, she has appeared in local productions of You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown, Pippin and West Side Story.
The big news was announced on NBC’s Today Show early on Aug. 5, along with a clip of her incredible audition. Watch it below!
Queen Latifah will play the Wizard, Mary J. will play the Wicked Witch of the West, while David will play the Cowardly Lion. Additionally, the production will also feature The Wiz on Broadway’s original Dorothy, Stephanie Mills, in the role of Aunt Em.
What do you think of NBC casting a newcomer in the role instead of an established actress?
— Casey Mink