NEW YORK — Wayne Brady is ready to bring some Broadway magic to “The Wiz.”
The actor-singer will star in the title role when the Tony-winning musical returns to New York City next spring, producers announced Wednesday.
The limited Broadway engagement will follow a national tour beginning this September in Baltimore with Alan Mingo Jr. in the role of The Wiz. Mingo will also play the character during stops in Chicago, San Diego, Atlanta and Washington, D.C., among others.
Brady, meanwhile, will play The Wiz in San Francisco from Jan. 16 to Feb. 11, and in Los Angeles from Feb. 13 to March 3, before the revival arrives on Broadway.
“The Wiz” opened in Baltimore in October 1974 with Stephanie Mills as Dorothy. It debuted on Broadway the following January. Led by an all-Black cast, the musical was a revelation for how it featured modern culture through its adaptation of the decades-old “Wonderful Wizard of Oz.”
The original Broadway show received seven Tony Awards, including Best Musical, and spawned a 1978 film starring Diana Ross and Michael Jackson. “The Wiz” last appeared on Broadway briefly in 1984.
Directed by Schele Williams, the upcoming revival is billed as an “all-new 21st-century” production that mixes ballet, jazz and modern pop.
“I wouldn’t be on Broadway if it wasn’t for ‘The Wiz’… the music, the costumes, the choreography and Stephanie Mills!” Williams said in December when the revival was announced. “Seeing that show changed my life. It is, in every way, a celebration of Black excellence. I am honored to helm this production and I can’t think of a better time to tell this story.”
Brady is no stranger to Broadway, having starred in productions of “Kinky Boots,” “Chicago” and, most recently, “Freestyle Love Supreme” from 2019 to 2020. The actor is also known for hosting “Let’s Make a Deal” and for starring on the improv comedy show “Whose Line Is It Anyway?”
Mingo is also a Broadway veteran who has appeared in productions of “Kinky Boots,” “Rent” and “The Little Mermaid.”