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NBC has turned to David Alan Grier for the first preview for its upcoming live performance of The Wiz.
Grier, who plays the Cowardly Lion, joins a cast that also includes Stephanie Mills, Queen Latifah, Mary J. Blige and Ne-Yo.
“I’m really excited to be playing the cowardly lion,” Grier said in the first promo. “More importantly, my daughter said, ‘Daddy, are you going to look like a lion lion?’ I said it’s going to be a little different: I’m going to have dreads. We’re doing a whole new vision of the lion.”
NBC’s The Wiz, set for Thursday, Dec. 3, will be executive produced by The Sound of Music and Peter Pan duo Craig Zadan and Neil Meron, with Tony-winning director Kenny Leon attached to direct both the live event as well as the Broadway revival in 2016-17. Tony Award winner and Broadway icon Harvey Fierstein will contribute new material to the original book by William F. Brown and work alongside Zadan, Meron and Leon.
Latifah will portray the Wiz, while Blige is on board as Evillene, the Wicked Witch of the West. Mills will star as Aunt Em in NBC’s live musical. A casting search is under way for the role of Dorothy.
Check out the promo, below.
.@DavidAlanGrier and @IAMQueenLatifah are joining #TheWizLive’s star-studded cast! Coming to NBC Dec 3. https://t.co/Om1Tbb7spy
— NBC (@nbc) August 27, 2015
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