March 31, 2015
NBC has announced that it will broadcast 'The Wiz' live on its network Thursday, December 3, 2015. Along with NBC, the production will be produced by Cirque du Soleil as well as Craig Zadan and Neil Meron (Producers of The 2015 Academy Awards Ceremony). This production will be third in a line of live stage productions presented by NBC. 'The Sound of Music' and 'Peter Pan' were broadcast on the network in 2013 and 2014 respectively. This new production also marks a first, as it will be transferred to Broadway after its initial televised broadcast. Both the televised and stage versions will be directed by Tony-Award winning director Kenny Leon in collaboration with Tony winner Harvey Fierstein who will provide additional material for the book. Casting will be announced at a later date.
'The Wiz' is an adaptation of the original musical 'The Wizard of Oz' retold from an African-American/multicultural perspective. With the book by William F. Brown, and music and lyrics by Charlie Smalls, 'The Wiz' opened on Broadway in 1975 and won several Tony Awards including Best Musical.