Common, MC Lyte Join Broadway-Bound ‘The Wiz’ As Co-Producers
EXCLUSIVE: Actor-rapper Common and hip-hop artist MC Lyte have signed on as co-producers in the all-new, Broadway-bound production of The Wiz, producers announced today.
The musical revival, which launches a national tour in Baltimore on September 23, will play a limited Broadway engagement this spring. Dates have not yet been announced.
“I am so blessed to be part of this production of The Wiz,” said Common, who appeared on Broadway last season in the acclaimed play Between Riverside and Crazy. “Theatre has always affected me in a way that reaches my soul and spirit, in some measure because I didn’t realize as a kid that I could dream big enough to be part of it.”
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The Grammy winning rapper and composer who also shared an Oscar with John Legend for the song “Glory” from the 2014 film Selma, added, “This is a true dream come true as one of my favorite movies growing up was The Wiz. My only hope is that this production can inspire someone else to chase their dreams and create their art.”
MC Lyte, an actor, lyricist, producer, DJ and rapper, said in a statement, “It is my greatest pleasure to have the opportunity to serve as an investor in this historic production of The Wiz. Having grown up watching all of the Broadway musicals in the ’70s and ’80s, The Wiz has always been a favorite of mine. Now, as a co-producer, I’m honored to be able to partner behind the scenes and with communities nationwide to help make this production an artistic and memorable treasure for future generations.”
The new co-producers join the lead producing team of Kristin Caskey, Mike Isaacson, Brian Anthony Moreland, and Ambassador Theatre Group. Kandi Burruss and Todd Tucker also recently joined the producing team.
The Broadway cast will include the previously announced Wayne Brady, who will also lead the production as the Wiz in San Francisco (January 16 – February 11, 2024) and Los Angeles (February 13 – March 3, 2024). Alan Mingo Jr. will star in the role Baltimore, Cleveland, Washington, DC, Pittsburgh, Charlotte, Atlanta, Greenville, SC, Chicago, Des Moines, Tempe and San Diego.
The cast will also feature Nichelle Lewis as Dorothy, Deborah Cox as Glinda and 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.
Schele Williams (The Notebook, revival of Disney’s Aida) will direct, 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 written by Amber Ruffin.
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