Posted by | Ray Cornelius

Congratulations goes to Broadway newbie, Shanice Williams. She will be “Easing on Down the Road” as ‘Dorothy’ this fall in NBC’s live adaptation of the The Wiz. The big announcement was made this morning on the TODAY’s show at 8:15 a.m.  Williams was selected out of hundreds of applicants nationwide who had auditioned to portray the iconic role of a Kansas farm girl who gets swept up in a tornado and is sent to the mysterious land of Oz.

With five years of musical training that also includes extensive dance and piano, Williams has co-starred in several local productions, including West Side Story, You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown, 42nd Street, Seussical and Pippin.  Last year Williams was nominated for best leading actress in a musical at the Paper Mill Playhouse’s annual Rising Star Awards.

She will join Queen Latifah as ‘The Wiz,’ Mary J. Blige as ‘Evillene The Wicked Witch of the West’ and David Alan Grier as the ‘Cowardly Lion.’ This is Grier’s second time round in a revival of the show as he played ‘The Wiz’ in a 2006 off Broadway production.

NBC’s “The Wiz” will air live on December 3 and will then open on Broadway for the 2016-17 Season. Both productions are being directed by Tony winner, Kenny Leon along with Harvey Fierstein, who is on board to “modernize” the Broadway book. The show is also being executive produced by Cirque du Soleil and will feature all of the original music of Charles Smalls.

There are only 5 more major characters to cast including ‘Scarecrow,’ ‘Tin Man,’ ‘Glinda the Good Witch,’ ‘Addaperle’ and ‘Toto.’ Who do you think should be cast for these roles? We’d love to hear from you.

Check out Shanice Williams below singing “Be A Lion!”

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Photo Credit: NBC