Time for “The Wiz” —again
Producers Kristin Caskey, Mike Isaacson, Brian Anthony Moreland, and Ambassador Theatre Group announced Kandi Burruss, the Tony Award® and Emmy Award®-nominated, and Grammy Award®-winning singer/songwriter, actress, and entrepreneur, alongside Todd Tucker, will join the producing team for an all-new production of the groundbreaking, Tony Award-winning musical The Wiz. The Wiz will launch a national tour in the Fall of 2023 in Baltimore, MD, before returning to Broadway for a limited engagement in the 2023/24 season.
In a statement, Burruss and Tucker said, “We are thrilled to be part of The Wiz. The songs, choreography, costumes, everything about The Wiz is epic!” They continued, “We have always said we want to help open the doors of theatre to all people. Theatre has the power to influence and inspire people to create change through art, and that is what we all need now. Art can heal and art can change you. It has changed
us. So, come on and ease on down the road with us!”
Featuring a book by William F. Brown and a Tony Award-winning score by Charlie Smalls (and others), director Schele Williams (The Notebook, revival of Disney’s Aida), award-winning choreographer JaQuel Knight (Beyonce’s “Single Ladies,” Black is King), additional material by Emmy-nominated writer and TV host Amber Ruffin (“The Amber Ruffin Show,” “Late Night With Seth Meyers”), Joseph Joubert (music supervision, orchestrations, & music arrangements), and Allen René Louis (vocal arrangements, music arrangements) is conjuring up an Oz unlike any other. A dynamite infusion of ballet, jazz, and modern pop will bring a new groove to ease down the road.
The Wiz design team will include scenic design by Academy Award-winning Hannah Beachler (Black Panther, Beyonce’s Black is King and Lemonade), costume design by Emmy Award-winning and two-time Academy Award-nominated Sharen Davis (Ray, Dreamgirls), lighting design by Barrymore Award-winning Ryan J. O’Gara (Thoughts of a Colored Man), sound design by Jon Weston (Parade), and wig design by Academy Award-winning Mia Neal (Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom).
The Wiz will launch its national tour in the Fall of 2023 in Baltimore, MD, home of the 1974 world premiere of the musical, September 23-30, 2023. Following its run at the Hippodrome Theatre, the tour will slide into Emerald cities nationwide before its limited engagement on Broadway in the Spring of 2024.
Tickets are available exclusively as part of season subscription packages and group sales in each tour city. Additional information on tour cities, venues, performance schedules, and single-ticket on-sale dates is available at WizBroadway.com. Fans can now sign up for an email newsletter with up-to-date information and follow The Wiz on social media channels. Based on L. Frank Baum’s children’s book, “The Wonderful Wizard of Oz,” The Wiz, takes one of the world’s most enduring (and enduringly white) American fantasies and transforms it into an all-Black musical extravaganza for the ages.
The Wiz premiered on Broadway in 1975 and became an instant sensation, going on to win seven Tony Awards, including Best Musical, Best Original Score, Best Featured Actor in a Musical (Ted Ross), Best Featured Actress in a Musical (Dee Dee Bridgewater), Best Choreography (George Faison), and in a Broadway first, Best Direction of a Musical and Best Costume Design (Geoffrey Holder). “Ease on Down
the Road” became the show’s break-out single, and “Home” has become a bona fide classic. That original production ran for four years (first at The Majestic Theatre and later at The Broadway Theatre) – and 1,672 performances – on Broadway. A 1978 film adaptation starred Diana Ross, Ted Ross, Mabel King, Richard Pryor, and Lena Horne, marking Quincy Jones’ first collaboration with Michael Jackson. Casting, to be announced, is by Tara Rubin Casting.
Juneteenth Public Performances
New York City is gearing up for an extraordinary week of cultural festivities as The Flea, renowned theater company proudly presents its third annual Juneteenth Public Performances & Symposium. Under the artistic direction of Niegel Smith, this year’s celebration promises to be a riveting display of talent, with a remarkable lineup of artists: Jack Fuller, Shelley, Nicole, and Trebien Pollard, all commissioned by The Flea. From June 14th to 19th, the city will serve as the backdrop for these highly anticipated performances simultaneously across multiple locations. In a groundbreaking symposium on June 14th at 7:00 PM, The Flea will kick off the festivities with an insightful discussion on Juneteenth and an introduction to this year’s remarkable artist roster. The esteemed artist, curator, and producer Monique Martin will guide the conversation.
For Nona Hendryx, Co-Chair of The Flea’s Board of Directors, Juneteenth embodies celebration and remembrance. She joyfully exclaimed, “Juneteenth is a day of celebration and a day of remembrance of freedom, freedom to be who you are, to love, dance, sing, create, enjoy and live your best life in no one’s shadow. I can think of no better way to mark the occasion than with the work of these Black Artists, capped off by a dazzling drag pageant.”