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'The Wiz' plans Broadway revival in 2024

The new production will first play a national tour.

Gillian Russo
Gillian Russo

Ease on down the road! The Tony Award-winning musical The Wiz is eyeing a Broadway revival following an upcoming national tour. The tour will kick off at the Hippodrome Theatre in Baltimore, where The Wiz premiered in 1974, and the limited Broadway engagement is set to go up in spring 2024.

The new production is directed by Schele Williams and choreographed by Jaquel Knight. Williams has performed in Rent and associate directed Motown the Musical, and she will make her Broadway directorial debut with The Wiz. Knight also makes his Broadway debut.

"It is a dream come true to be a part of what I consider the epitome of Black excellence," Knight said in a statement. "There’s not one piece of art that has had influence on popular culture like The Wiz. I’m humbled to not only have the opportunity to leave my own mark on a true work of art, but to continue the storytelling and legacy building on the beauty of blackness through dance, movement, and attitude."

This revival of The Wiz will also feature additional material by Amber Ruffin, currently represented on Broadway as co-writer of Some Like It Hot, and music supervision, orchestrations, and music arrangements by Joseph Joubert.

The Wiz is an all-Black adaptation of L. Frank Baum's The Wizard of Oz. The show features a book by William F. Brown and music by Charlie Smalls and others. The show's 1975 Broadway premiere won seven Tony Awards, including Best Musical and Best Original Score, and is known for songs like "Home" and "Ease on Down the Road."

"I am so happy to know a new generation will be discovering these wonderful songs and learn of my father’s extraordinary talent," said Michael Smalls, Charlie Smalls's son.

The Wiz also received a 1978 film adaptation starring Diana Ross, Michael Jackson, Ted Ross, Mabel King, Richard Pryor and Lena Horne.

Photo credit: Hinton Battle, Stephanie Mills, Ted Ross, and Tiger Haynes in The Wiz in 1975. (Photo by Martha Swope)

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