‘The Wiz Live!’ Casts Newcomer Shanice Williams as Dorothy

The Wiz Live!, NBC’s latest pick for the live TV musical treatment, had officially found its Dorothy in 18-year-old Shanice Williams.

The young actress may not have as much experience as her talented co-stars, but her accomplishments thus far are impressive and speak to a bright future. Shanice has five years of musical training under her belt, that also includes extensive dance and piano training as well. She’s co-starred in several local productions, including West Side Story, You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown, 42nd Street, Seussical and Pippin. As if that’s not enough, last year Williams was nominated for best leading actress in a musical at the Paper Mill Playhouse’s annual Rising Star Awards.

How’s that for qualification?

Read more about the phenomenal cast that Williams will lead, per NBC, below:

  • Queen Latifah- The Wiz, the mysterious and powerful wizard who holds the keys to the Emerald City, but whose metamorphosis from ordinary to extraordinary is itself a hoax. She rose to her lofty position after being transported by accident to Oz in a hot air balloon during a snowstorm.
  • Mary J. Blige- Evillene, the Wicked Witch of the West, who holds sway over the Winkies and the Winged Monkeys that do her bidding. She captures Dorothy and her friends to avenge the unintentional murder of her evil sister, Evvamean, and to get back the powerful silver slippers given to Dorothy by the Good Witch of the North.
  • David Alan Grier- The Cowardly Lion, who asks Dorothy if he can join her in her journey down the Yellow Brick Road and ask the Wiz for some courage, which he is severely lacking.
  • Stephanie Mills- Previously announced to portray Auntie Em in “The Wiz Live!” Mills is best known to many for playing Dorothy in the original Broadway production of “The Wiz.”

Craig Zadan and Neil Meron (The Sound of Music Live!, Peter Pan Live!) serve as executive producers. Kenny Leon will direct with Harvey Fierstein providing new written material.

The Wiz Live! will air on NBC Thursday, Dec. 3.

Photo Credit: Universal Studios

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