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Shanice Williams The Wiz

On Wednesday morning, TODAY revealed the latest addition to the already star-studded cast — Shanice Williams.

If her name doesn’t quite ring a bell, that’s because “The Wiz” will be Williams’ first television role. The musical theater actress was among hundreds of applicants who auditioned for the part.


The Wiz Live!
Peter Kramer / NBC

Of course, long before we shared the news on TODAY, she shared it with her biggest fan — her mom.

“Mom, I’ve got to tell you something,” she said right after getting the good news. “I got the part!

THE WIZ, from left: Michael Jackson, Nipsey Russell, Diana Ross, Ted Ross, 1978Everett Collection

“The Wiz” (1978), from left: Michael Jackson, Nipsey Russell, Diana Ross, Ted Ross.

No wonder she’s so excited. In addition to filling Diana Ross’ silver shoes (Ross took on the role in the 1978 big-screen version of “The Wiz”), the newcomer will be performing alongside some big names in entertainment

Los Angeles Premiere And Party For Disney-Pixar's INSIDE OUT At El Capitan Theatre
Alberto E. Rodriguez / Getty Images

David Alan Grier.

On Tuesday, NBC announced that stage and screen star David Alan Grier will play the part of the Cowardly Lion. And last week musical fans learned that Queen Latifah and Mary J. Blige will play the Wiz and the Wicked Witch of the West respectively.

Queen Latifah and Mary J. BligeAP

As for Dorothy’s beloved Auntie Em, that part went to Stephanie Mills, who played Dorothy in first Broadway production of the tale.

“The Wiz Live!” will air Dec. 3 on NBC.


‘The Wiz Live!’ Casts Dorothy! See Who Landed The Lead And Who Will Join Her  was originally published on

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