“THE WIZ” ANNOUNCES ITS LION, TINMAN AND SCARECROW CAST FOR THE ALL-NEW BROADWAY MUSICAL
Tour Press Contacts:
Marc Viscardi/ Linda Stewart /Janiya Wade
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE ON JUNE 1, 2023
COURAGE? … CHECK!
HEART? … CHECK!
BRAIN? … CHECK!
LION, TINMAN AND SCARECROW ANNOUNCED
FOR THE ALL-NEW
AND REVOLUTONARY HIT
LAUNCHING NATIONAL TOUR THIS FALL IN BALTIMORE
AHEAD OF ITS HIGHLY ANTICIPATED RETURN TO BROADWAY
New York, NY (June 1, 2023) – Producers Kristin Caskey, Mike Isaacson, Brian Anthony Moreland, Ambassador Theatre Group, Kandi Burruss and Todd Tucker are thrilled to announce casting for the beloved roles of the Lion, Tinman and Scarecrow in the all-new production of the groundbreaking, Tony Award-winning hit musical The Wiz, in advance of its highly anticipated Broadway return in the Spring of 2024.
The cast will include Kyle Ramar Freeman (A Strange Loop) as the Lion, Phillip Johnson Richardson (Sharper, Apple+) as the Tinman, and Avery Wilson (The Voice) as the Scarecrow, respectively. Richardson and Wilson will be making their Broadway debuts. Additional casting will be announced in the coming weeks.
Featuring a book by William F. Brown and a Tony Award-winning score by Charlie Smalls (and others), director Schele Williams (The Notebook, revival of Disney’s Aida), award-winning choreographer JaQuel Knight (Beyonce’s “Single Ladies,” Black is King), additional material by Emmy-nominated writer and TV host Amber Ruffin (“The Amber Ruffin Show,” “Late Night With Seth Meyers”), Joseph Joubert (music supervision, orchestrations, & music arrangements), and Allen René Louis (vocal arrangements, music arrangements) are conjuring up an Oz unlike anything ever seen before. A dynamite infusion of ballet, jazz, and modern pop will bring a whole new groove to easing on down the road.
The Wiz design team will include scenic design by Academy Award-winning Hannah Beachler (Black Panther, Beyonce’s Black is King and Lemonade), costume design by Emmy Award-winning and two-time Academy Award-nominated Sharen Davis (Ray, Dreamgirls), lighting design by Barrymore Award-winning Ryan J. O’Gara (Thoughts of a Colored Man), sound design by Jon Weston (Parade) and wig design by Academy Award-winning Mia Neal (Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom).
The Wiz will launch its national tour in the Fall of 2023 in Baltimore, MD, home of the 1974 world premiere of the musical, September 23-30, 2023. Following its run at the Hippodrome Theatre, the tour will slide into Emerald cities across the country before it begins its limited engagement on Broadway in the Spring 2024.
Tickets are currently available exclusively as part of season subscription packages and group sales in each tour city. Additional information on tour cities, venues, performance schedules and single ticket on sale dates is available at WizBroadway.com. Fans can now sign up for an email newsletter with up-to-date information as well as follow The Wiz on social media channels.
Based on L. Frank Baum’s children’s book, “The Wonderful Wizard of Oz”, The Wiz takes one of the world’s most enduring (and enduringly white) American fantasies, and transforms it into an all-Black musical extravaganza for the ages.
The Wiz premiered on Broadway in 1975 and became an instant sensation, going on to win seven Tony Awards including Best Musical, Best Original Score, Best Featured Actor in a Musical (Ted Ross), Best Featured Actress in a Musical (Dee Dee Bridgewater), Best Choreography (George Faison), and in a Broadway first, Best Direction of a Musical and Best Costume Design (Geoffrey Holder). “Ease on Down the Road” became the show’s break-out single, and “Home” has since become a bona fide classic. That original production ran for four years (first at The Majestic Theatre and later at The Broadway Theatre) – and 1,672 performances – on Broadway. A 1978 film adaptation starred Diana Ross, Ted Ross, Mabel King, Richard Pryor and Lena Horne, and marked Quincy Jones’ first collaboration with Michael Jackson.
Casting by: Tara Rubin Casting.
Kyle Ramar Freeman (Lion) is a Miami native who has been singing and acting from an early age. Now based in Harlem, Kyle made his New York debut in the Original Broadway Cast of A Strange Loop, a Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award-winning Best Musical. Kyle is currently leading the cast of A Strange Loop in London. Other credits include: 1st national tour of Once On This Island (Asaka), Joseph and Dreamcoat (Calypso). Kyle is a graduate of AMDA. IG: iamkylefreeman
Phillip Johnson Richardson (Tinman) is a native of North Carolina and a graduate of Cincinnati Conservatory of Music. Phillip can be seen in the A24 feature film Sharper starring Julianne Moore, Sebastian Stan and John Lithgow streaming now on Apple+. He was a series regular in the Apple+ series “Little Voices.” His first job out of school was with the Chicago Company of Hamilton. His television appearances were guest appearances on “The Last O.G,” “Chicago PD,” “Provent Innocent” and “The Other Two.” Phillip has released several of his own singles on Apple Music and all streaming platforms under the moniker of “Phil.”
Avery Wilson (Scarecrow). The New Haven, Connecticut native spent his entire life working towards this moment. Encouraged by his family, he went from singing at McDonalds every Wednesday to dropping aseries of independent releases, culminating with “On Top of the World” in 2012. A year later, music legend Clive Davis personally signed him. Throughout 2015, he made headlines, performing at the BET Awards, and dropping “Change My Mind” [feat. Migos]. The latter impressively racked up 7.7 million Spotify streams and cemented a fervent fan base around him. Going independent, he maintained his momentum on 2018’s FYI EP before dropping the 8:34 EP in 2019. The latter received acclaim from Rap-Up, Soul Bounce, and more right out of the gate. Along the way, he continued to cross paths with Super Producers, and Songwriters Grammy Award-winning Claude Kelly, Damon Thomas, James Fauntleroy to work on hisupcoming music he will be releasing in 2023. IG: AveryWilson.
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