3:13pm PT by Bryn Elise Sandberg
NBC's 'The Wiz Live!' Reveals First Look at David Alan Grier as the Cowardly Lion
NBC is offering its first sneak peek at The Wiz Live!
The network has released key art that features its four main actors in character. The image shows David Alan Grier as the Cowardly Lion, Shanice Williams as Dorothy, Ne-Yo as the Tin Man and Elijah Kelley as the Scarecrow.
The Wiz tells the familiar story of The Wizard of Oz in an African-American/multicultural context. First adapted as a 1978 film starring Diana Ross, Michael Jackson, Lena Horne and Richard Pryor, it centers on a young woman from Kansas (Dorothy) who is swept up in a tornado and relocated to a fantasy world populated by munchkins, good and bad witches and flying monkeys. When she eventually takes a path down a yellow-brick road to find a wizard who can help her go home, she meets a scarecrow, a tin man and a cowardly lion.
In keeping with its musical holiday tradition, NBC's The Wiz Live! marks the network's third live-event special following The Sound of Music and Peter Pan — both of which were executive produced by former Oscar helmers Craig Zadan and Neil Meron. The pair also is executing producing this year's The Wiz, with Tony-winning director Kenny Leon set to direct.
The special will air Thursday, Dec. 3, on NBC.