A newcomer will be easing on down the road next year.
Nichelle Lewis has been cast in the lead role of Dorothy in the Broadway revival of The Wiz, which is slated to hit the boards in the spring. Discovered via a TikTok video and beating out more than 2,000 other hopefuls, she also will play the iconic role in the show’s national tour.
Singer-songwriter Lewis is a Virginia native who has performed in the national tour of Hairspray, Little Shop of Horrors, Bare: A Pop Opera and most recently the new musical Labelless. She took first place in the young adult popular vote at the 2021 Music International Grand Prix. See clips of her performances below.
It also was announced Monday that Kandi Burruss and Todd Tucker will be producers of the revival, which features some new material from Amber Rose. Set to bow in the spring, it has Wayne Brady set in the title row and also stars Kyle Ramar Freeman as the Lion, Phillip Johnson Richardson as the Tinman and former The Voice contestant Avery Wilson as the Scarecrow.
The revival features a book by William F. Brown and a Tony Award-winning score by Charlie Smalls (and others). Schele Williams directs, and JaQuel Knight is the choreographer.
The show premiered on Broadway in 1975 and won seven Tony Awards including Best Musical, with Stephanie Mills as Dorothy. She reprised the role for a brief 1984 Broadway revival, and Diana Ross took over as the wayward Kansan for the 1978 film adaptation, which also starred Michael Jackson as the Scarecrow, Lena Horne as Glinda and Richard Pryor as the Wiz.