NBC’s ‘The Wiz’ Live Musical Casts Dorothy! Get To Know Shanice Williams With These Facts
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Newcomer Shanice Williams, 18, will play the role of Dorothy for the network’s live production, which is set to debut on television on Dec. 3.
The young actress, who hails from New Jersey, had her training in theater at the Paper Mill Playhouse. In 2014, Shanice earned a nomination for best actress in Paper Mill Playhouse’s Rising Star Awards for “Crazy For You,” which was set up by her high school. The actress went to Rahway High School.
“Right now I’m just ready to jump in and show the world what I have to offer because I’ve been waiting for the moment — it feels like forever. I’m only 19 but it feels like so long just asking, ‘How is this going to happen for me?’ So now that it’s finally here, I’m just happy to have this opportunity,” said Shanice to the Associated Press.
Williams will join an already stellar cast of performers that includes Queen Latifah as The Wiz, Mary J. Blige as the Wicked Witch of the West and David Alan Grier as the Cowardly Lion.
“The Wiz” is an adaptation to “The Wonderful Wizard of Oz” that opened on Broadway in 1975 and starred Stephanie Mills as Dorothy, Dee Dee Bridgewater as good witch Glinda and Andre De Shields as the Wiz. The stage production already won seven Tony Awards.
A movie version, which starred Diana Ross and Michael Jackson, was also released in 1978.
“I will always remember how iconic they made the role but I also want to bring myself into it and give Dorothy a little bit of Shanice, you know?” said Shanice.
In doing the live musical, NBC has also partnered with Cirque du Soleil. The performance group will be presenting “The Wiz” on Broadway in 2016.
— NBC (@nbc) August 5, 2015