‘The Wiz’ to return to Broadway after 40 years

Get able to “Ease On Down the Highway” — once more! Forty years after its 1984 revival, “The Wiz” is returning to Broadway, with extra materials from Amber Ruffin, in response to Playbill.

The Wiz Stephanie Mills Amber Ruffin theGrio.com
Stephanie Mills as Dorothy sings within the Broadway play “The Wiz (Musical)” circa 1975. (Photograph by Hulton Archive/Getty Pictures)

Earlier than returning to Broadway, the acclaimed musical will first tour the U.S. earlier than touchdown in NYC for a restricted engagement. Along with Ruffin, who just lately had her first main theatrical second for serving to write the ebook for the present Broadway adaptation of the traditional movie “Some Like It Sizzling,” the inventive staff additionally contains director Schele Williams (“Motown the Musical”) and choreographer Jaquel Knight. The rating is by Charlie Smalls and the unique ebook was written by William F. Brown.

“The Wiz,” an adaptation of L. Frank Baum’s “The Wizard of Oz,” has change into a staple in Black theater and American musical theater at massive, with its all-Black solid (initially led by Stephanie Mills) breaking down main boundaries on the Nice White Approach again in 1974. The manufacturing went on to win seven Tony Awards together with Finest Musical, and garnered a 1978 movie adaptation starring Diana Ross, Michael Jackson, Lena Horne and Richard Pryor.

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“I wouldn’t be on Broadway if it wasn’t for ‘The Wiz’…the music, the costumes, the choreography, and Stephanie Mills!,” Williams shared in a press release obtained by Playbill. “Seeing that present modified my life. It’s, in each manner, a celebration of Black excellence. I’m honored to helm this manufacturing, and I can’t consider a greater time to inform this story.”

“It’s a dream come true to be part of what I think about the epitome of Black excellence,” Knight additionally shared in his assertion. “There’s not one piece of artwork that has had [an] affect on widespread tradition like ‘The Wiz.’ I’m humbled to not solely have the chance to go away my very own mark on a real murals, however to proceed the storytelling and legacy constructing on the fantastic thing about blackness by way of dance, motion, and angle. I’m honored to face on the backs of these greats who’ve opened this door, resembling Louis Johnson and George Faison; and I’m thrilled to be given the chance to assist present youngsters who appear to be me that the Theatre is a world the place they will see themselves.”

The tour is about to kick off within the fall of 2023, whereas the Broadway opening is about for spring 2024.

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