Common and MC Lyte have been announced as co-producers for the upcoming “The Wiz” Broadway revival. The musical revival is set to start a national tour in Baltimore on September 23, with limited Broadway dates in the spring, yet to be disclosed.
The cast features Nichelle Lewis as Dorothy, Deborah Cox as Glinda, Melody A. Betts as Aunt Em and Evillene, Kyle Ramar Freeman as the Lion, Phillip Johnson Richardson as the Tinman, and Avery Wilson as the Scarecrow. The Broadway cast also includes Wayne Brady, who will play the role of the Wiz in San Francisco and Los Angeles. Alan Mingo Jr. will star in other cities during the national tour.
Common, who previously appeared on Broadway in “Between Riverside and Crazy,” expressed his excitement, emphasizing how theater deeply impacts him and noting that as a child, he didn’t realize he could dream big enough to be part of it. He emphasized that being involved in “The Wiz” is a dream come true, as the movie was one of his childhood favorites.
MC Lyte, a versatile artist known for her roles as an actor, lyricist, producer, DJ, and rapper, shared her pleasure at investing in this historic production. She mentioned her childhood love for Broadway musicals from the ’70s and ’80s and her passion for “The Wiz.” Now, as a co-producer, she is honored to contribute behind the scenes and to communities nationwide.
Common and MC Lyte are joining the lead producing team, including Kristin Caskey, Mike Isaacson, Brian Anthony Moreland, and Ambassador Theatre Group. Kandi Burruss and Todd Tucker have also recently joined this team.
Schele Williams, known for her work in “The Notebook” and the revival of Disney’s “Aida,” will direct the production, with a book by William F. Brown and a score by Charlie Smalls and others. JaQuel Knight is the choreographer, and additional material has been contributed by Amber Ruffin.