NBC will adapt the “The Wiz” for their next live musical. And this time, they’re not just stopping on TV, but taking the show all the way to the Broadway stage.
The 1975 musical, which retells L. Frank Baum’s “The Wonderful Wizard of Oz” with an all-black cast set in a fantasy version of New York City, will air on NBC Dec. 3 -- following in the footsteps of 2013’s “The Sound of Music Live!” and last year’s “Peter Pan Live!”
Like those two productions, “The Wiz Live!” will be produced by Craig Zaden and Neil Meron. But unlike previous years, NBC will transfer its revival of “The Wiz” on Broadway for the 2016-17 season.
Tony-winning director Kenny Leon (“A Raisin in the Sun”) will stage both productions, with Tony winner Harvey Fierstein providing additional material to William F. Brown’s original Broadway book.
Cirque du Soleil will co-produce alongside Zaden and Meron, meaning there’s a good chance our residents of the Land of Oz will be performing some high-flying circus acts.
“We love this yearly tradition and we’re more excited than ever to not only bring another Broadway musical to America’s living rooms, but also see it land on Broadway as well,” NBC chairman Robert Greenblatt said. “Cirque’s incredible imagination will help bring the fantasy world of Oz vividly to life and give this great show a modern spin on the age-old story we all love.”
With music and lyrics by Charlie Smalls, “The Wiz” features some of Broadway’s most-iconic songs, including “Ease on Down the Road,” “Home” and “Brand New Day.” The hit 1978 film version starred Diana Ross and Michael Jackson as Dorothy and the Scarecrow, respectively.
Casting will be announced soon.