NBC’s Bob Greenblatt used NBC’s Monday morning upfront presentation to announce the first casting for the network’s live rendition of The Wiz. Stephanie Mills, who starred as Dorothy in the original Broadway production, will play Aunt Em in NBC’s live musical.
Greenblatt noted that casting on the musical follow-up to Peter Pan and the Sound of Music has just begun its search for a new fresh face to star as Dorothy.
NBC’s The Wiz, set for Thursday, Dec. 3, will again be executive produced by 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 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.
Mills’ career took off with The Wiz. The role earned her a Drama Desk Award nomination. She won a Grammy in 1980 for “Never Knew Love Like This Before” and an AMA for favorite female artist in 1981, in addition to other nominations.