Yesha Callahan

NBC Taps Newcomer Shanice Williams to Play Dorothy in ‘The Wiz’ + David Alan Grier Joins the Cast


Looks like the folks over at NBC are trying to do right by The Wiz. After tapping Stephanie Mills, Queen Latifah, and Mary J. Blige to star in the live production, the network has finally found its lead.

Shanice Williams, just 18, beat out hundreds of eager young women to land the coveted role of Dorothy. Despite studying musical theater for years, the New Jersey native never thought she’d actually get the part.

“When I went to the audition, it was more of a learning experience for me so I never imagined this would happen in a million years,” Williams said on the Today Show. “I was just going to learn what an audition process is in New York City.”

Williams did more than just learn, she wowed The Wiz’s casting directors to score the role of a lifetime, and she hopes others do the same.

“Go out and chase your dreams no matter how crazy it looks. Just do what makes you happy and try. Just go out and audition.”

Tuesday, NBC announced comedic vet David Alan Grier will join the cast as the Cowardly Lion, giving fans of the classic musical even more reason to tune in on December 3.

  1. August 5, 2015 - Reply

    I am glad they got a new comer. I know rumors were throwing certain names around but I am glad they went out of the box here. I am interested in seeing how it comes together. Congrats to Shanice Williams.

    • August 6, 2015 - Reply


      I agree with you Sister.

  2. August 5, 2015 - Reply

    This is so shocking a brown skinned girl that can hold a tune. I am so pleased. I was so wrong. I figured it would be some marginally black ex Disney/Nickelodeon girl who can barely hold a tune.

    • August 7, 2015 - Reply


      “I figured it would be some marginally black ex Disney/Nickelodeon girl who can barely hold a tune.”


  3. August 5, 2015 - Reply

    Good for her. I pray she does well and it’s only the beginning for this bright young star!!

  4. August 5, 2015 - Reply

    Watching her audition made me so emotional! I’m so extremely happy for her! Not only is the young lady drop dead gorgeous but she has an amazing tone and quality to her voice that is absolutely PERFECT for Musical Theatre (watch out Broadway!!!) AND you can feel her energy….this Chile is definitely destined for success! Blessings to her!!

  5. August 5, 2015 - Reply

    Lort! That voice! I am in love with this girl. I hope that she becomes a sensation.

  6. August 5, 2015 - Reply

    She is a very humble Sister. Her voice is incredible. Shanice Williams is right to mention that chasing your dreams is a pristine, galvanizing motto to live by. The Wiz is a staple of black culture and its cultural impact is felt today. I wish more success for Shanice Williams (as her great spirit and her inspirational passion can inspire others to follow their paths too) and the Wiz on NBC has an excellent cast.

  7. August 5, 2015 - Reply

    Good for her. May she have success.

  8. August 6, 2015 - Reply

    except Dorthy was like 7 it should be a little girl like, Quvenzhané Wallis.

    • August 6, 2015 - Reply


      Maybe in the Wizard of Oz, but in the Wiz Dorothy is a young adult, early 20s, with a job so Shanice Williams fits the part Quvenzhane Wallis would be to young.

      • August 6, 2015 - Reply


        In the Wiz the movie, Dorothy is a young adult. That’s because Diana Ross wanted the role. In the play she was a child originally played by the teenage Stephanie Mills.

        • August 6, 2015 - Reply


          Interesting, I didn’t know that I am more familiar with the movie version than the play since it was before my time. But I like the teenage/grown up Dorothy I can’t really picture a child Dorothy.

  9. August 6, 2015 - Reply

    i’m glad new talent is being given a chance. i think david allen grier will pay a great cowardly lion.

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