Every day is opening night.


Press Contact:
Rick Miramontez / Amanda Meyer / Kianga Moore
rick@omdkc.com  / amanda@omdkc.com / kianga@omdkc.com
212 695 7400

Tour Press Contacts:
Bond Theatrical
Marc Viscardi/ Linda Stewart /Janiya Wade





New York, NY (August 2, 2023) – Producers Kristin Caskey, Mike Isaacson, Brian Anthony Moreland, and Ambassador Theatre Group announced complete ensemble casting for the all-new production of the groundbreaking, Tony Award-winning hit musical The Wiz, in advance of its highly anticipated national tour this fall and Broadway return in the Spring of 2024.

The Wiz ensemble features Maya Bowles, Shayla Alayre Caldwell, Jay Copeland, Allyson Kaye Daniel, Judith Franklin, Michael Samarie George, Collin Heyward, Amber Jackson, Olivia Jackson, Christina Jones, Polanco Jones, Kolby Kindle, Mariah Lyttle, Kareem Marsh, Anthony Murphy, Cristina Rae, Matthew Sims Jr, Avilon Trust Tate, and Keenan D. Washington.

The production was also thrilled to welcome Kandi Burruss and Todd Tucker as producers of the musical.

The cast will include previously announced Wayne Brady to lead the production as the Wiz on Broadway in Spring of 2024, San Francisco (January 16 – February 11, 2024) at the Golden Gate Theatre, and Los Angeles (February 13 – March 3, 2024) at the Hollywood Pantages Theatre. Alan Mingo Jr. will star in the role of the Wiz in the following cities of The Wiz National Tour this fall, kicking off with the tour launch in Baltimore, including Cleveland, OH, Washington, DC, Pittsburgh, PA, Charlotte, NC, Atlanta, GA, Greenville, SC, Chicago, IL, Des Moines, IA, Tempe, AZ and San Diego, CA.

The cast also features previously announced Deborah Cox as Glinda and Melody A. Betts as Aunt Em and Evillene, 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 news for Dorothy 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 (Beyoncé’s “Single Ladies,” Black is King), additional material by Tony-nominated and 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, Beyoncé’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), projection design by Daniel Brodie (Motown the Musical) and wig design by Charles LaPointe (MJ the Musical).

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 WizMusical.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.

Maya Bowles (Ensemble) is a proud Atlanta native and Point Park Alumna who is thrilled to be a part of The Wiz legacy! Broadway: Moulin Rouge! The Musical. Nothing would be possible without the love and support of her family, both given and chosen, and her incredible team at MMV Talent! @mayabowles

Shayla Alayre Caldwell (Ensemble) is a third generation native of New Haven, Connecticut. She began dancing at a very young age after being introduced to Guinean culture by her parents and dance mentor. She was accepted into the B.F.A. program at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, Virginia in 2007. A few highlights of her dance career include representing the USA at the International Festival of Ballet held in Cali, Colombia, performing at the infamous Joyce Theater, Delacorte Theater in Central Park, The Kennedy Center in Washington D.C. and being featured in The New York Times. She is overjoyed to premiere in her Broadway debut amongst so many talented people with the revival of The Wiz! IG: @salayre_jet.

Jay Copeland (Ensemble) is excited to be part of the original revival cast for The Wiz!  Recent stage credits include: Ain’t Misbehavin (“Andre”) Geva and Westport Theatres, Hairspray (Seaweed), Jesus Christ Superstar (Judas), and the opening act for Patti LaBelle in Concert 2022. In 2022, Jay was a contestant on ABC’s “American Idol” and was the first ever contestant to receive a Platinum Ticket (awarded to the top contestant in each of the 3 cities where American Idol held auditions).  Jay appeared in over 20 episodes and finished Top 7. Instagram @theejaycopeland and TikTok: theejaycopeland.  

Allyson Kaye Daniel (Ensemble) is a former Public School Music Teacher. Big thanks to Tara Rubin Casting. And of course the entire Wiz creative team!!! Broadway Credits: 1776 Revival.  National tours: Elf, The Color Purple. TV Credits: Manifest, Law & Order: SVU, Search Party, High Maintenance, and Living With Yourself. @akayedaniel

Judith Franklin (Ensemble) is honored and ecstatic to take this trip along the yellow brick road, a road she first traveled as a young girl from her living room as she watched her first musical, The Wiz! Judith is a graduate of Houston’s Grammy Award-winning High School for the Performing and Visual Arts (Vocal/Dance) and Clark Atlanta University (B.A. Theatre). Her Broadway credits include Summer: The Donna Summer Musical, Tina: The Tina Turner Musical. National Tours: Motown: The Musical, Straight Outta Oz, Madea On The Run. Off Broadway: TILL. Regional: Ain’t Misbehavin’, Dreamgirls, Memphis The Musical, Little Shop of Horrors, Company. TV/Film: “Blue Bloods,”Dynasty,” “Sesame Street,”Superintelligence and more. She has performed throughout the United States, Caribbean, Africa, Europe and South America. Apart from stage and screen, as a proud member of Broadway Inspirational Voices (BIV), she spends her time giving back as Coordinator of the Arts & Education Program through BIV in collaboration with Covenant House New York.  www.JudithFranklin.com  IG @judithfranklin and TikTok @iamjudithfranklin

Michael Samarie George (Swing) is thrilled to be a part of this iconic show and talented team! Previously in Hamilton (Chicago), The Devil Wears Prada and other major stage productions, including professional choreography. She loves performing, producing and is truly passionate about making change through art. Michael wishes to thank her family, friends, and reps for their support. @michaelsamarie

Collin Heyward (Ensemble) is from Newport News, VA native, Collin, is elated to be joining The Wiz!  Broadway: Disney’s The Lion King. Regional: Memphis (NCT). TV/Film: “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert,” American Music Awards, Black Nativity. Dance: Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater. Instagram: @collinheyward 

Amber Jackson (Ensemble) is a multifaceted artist from Decatur, GA and is thrilled to be joining the cast of The Wiz. Broadway: Wicked, Hamilton: An American Musical, The Devil Wears Prada. Off-Broadway: ctgla: Transparent the Musical. TV/Film: “Power Book III,” Soundtrack, A Jazzman’s Blues, “So You Think You Can Dance,” “American Idol,” “Good Morning America,” “The Talk,” “The Late Late Show with James Corden,” Video Music Awards. @ambertiara                 

Olivia “Melio J.” Jackson (Ensemble) was born in Columbus, Mississippi in 1996. She grew up the middle child, raised by her amazing mother with a strong foundation rooted in their love for God. Olivia or “O.J” as some friends call her, has always been a performer since the day she was born. When her mom moved the family to Atlanta, GA in the early 2000’s is when she fell more in love with the arts and knew that she could truly thrive. Through hard work paired with her family’s support she has been able to make great accomplishments and she is now a professional dancer who graces stages across the world with amazing artists such as the iconic girl group Xscape, BBD, City Girls, Lecrae, and so many more. She’s an actress on the hit Starz Network series, “PValley” as “Toy”. She is now making her big Broadway debut!  @therealmelo.j 

Christina Jones (Ensemble) will be making her Broadway Debut! A proud poet, solo artist, and recent graduate of Boston Conservatory, Christina’s early career consisted of various vocal competitions (American Idol and Amateur Night at the Apollo Theater in Harlem, NY). Theatre: Cabaret (Ensemble), Shrek the Musical (Dragon), For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide/ When the Rainbow is Enuf (Lady in Yellow), The Rocky Horror Show (Janet Weiss), Once On This Island (Erzulie), Ain’t Misbehavin’ (Charlaine Woodard), and Sister Act (Michelle/Deloris understudy). @ChristinaJonesOfficial

Polanco Jones, Jr. (Ensemble) is overjoyed to be making his Broadway debut in a show that aligns with his mission as a lifelong storyteller. He is an award-winning international theatre artist with a passion for creating contemporary socio-political work that heightens Black visibility. A New Orleans native, and 2020’s Big Easy Theatre Person of the Year, Polanco is thrilled to be a part of this adventure of heritage and innovation; which continues to allow him to stand on the shoulders of his ancestors. He would like to thank his family, friends, UMT, NOJM, CMWC and SAKS& management for their endless support. To God be the glory. Past credits include: Black No More (Off Broadway) IG@Imizpolancojonesjr

Kolby Kindle (Ensemble) appeared Off-Broadway: The Play That Goes Wrong (Trevor); Harmony. Original Australian Cast of Come From Away (Bob and Others). National Tours: Waitress, The Book of Mormon, Sister Act, Dreamgirls, Disney’s Beauty and the Beast. Regional: Paper Mill Playhouse, The Old Globe, MTW, Lyric Theatre of Oklahoma, Arrow Rock Lyceum. Voiceover: South Park: The Fractured but Whole video game. @kolbykin

Mariah Lyttle (Dorothy U/S). Broadway: Bad Cinderella (Ensemble/Cinderella U/S). National Tour: The Color Purple (Celie). Regional: Dreamgirls (Lorrell) at Paramount Theatre in Aurora, IL, Smokey Joe’s Café (BJ) at North Shore Music Theatre in Beverly, MA, Ain’t Misbeahavin’ (Armelia) at Pioneer Theatre Company in Salt Lake City, UT, The Wiz (Dorothy) at Virginia Repertory Theatre, Ragtime (Sarah) and Ain’t Misbeahvin (Self) at Park Playhouse in Albany, NY. Ithaca College ‘19, BFA in Musical Theatre. DGRW. For God, my family, my friends, and my students. Esther 4:14. www.mariahlyttle.com. @mariahlyttle!

Kareem Marsh (Ensemble) is a Philadelphia native who began his vocal and dance training at the age of 13. He has trained at various institutions in the state of Pennsylvania, under the tutelage of arts cultivators such as Joan Myers Brown, Dara Meredith, Shawn-Lamere Williams and Lucinda McCann. Kareem began his professional career dancing and touring with international dance companies such as Eleone Dance Theater, Waheed Works, and Philadanco, The Philadelphia Dance Company. He has traveled and performed in over 13 countries including Canada, Australia, and New Zealand with Holland America Cruise Lines. In 2017 Kareem was featured in Dance Magazine highlighting his professional experience performing abroad. In 2021 he was also featured in the popular film adaptation of the musical In The Heights by Lin-Manuel Miranda. Kareem is also an esteemed arts educator within the tri-state area. Since 2012 he has taught within the Philadelphia and New Jersey Public school systems choreographing various musicals, and curating many programs for the empowerment of our youth. @Kareemdances

Anthony Murphy (Ensemble) was most recently seen in the Lucille Lortel Award winning Off-Broadway Musical Titanique. Anthony was also a part of the World Premiere of The Devil Wear Prada the musical written by Elton John. Before that Anthony was featured as Paul Burrell in Diana The Musical on Broadway! Tour: Aladdin (Genie, OTC). Off-Broadway: The Pirate La Dee Da (Atlantic Theatre Company), Blue Plate Special (Ars Nova). @stanthonysings

Cristina Raė (Ensemble) born and raised in Nashville, TN. Heidi Klums’ Golden Buzzer and Top 3 on Americas Got Talent Season 15. Has been performing since the age of 7. Performing on many platforms like: Two-time 1st place winner at Amateur Night at the Apollo, CMA Fest, CMT Awards, The Stellar Awards amongst others. Numerous Off Broadway productions such as Dreamgirls, Porgy and Bess, The Color Purple, Fame, The Wiz, Little Shop of Horror as Crystal and so many more. She’s not just a performer, she’s a mother as well, to an amazing little boy named Jeremiah. She’s not just pursuing her dreams for herself and her son but for every child as well as adult, that needs proof that dreams really come true! Leaving her legacy is one of her biggest goals! The Wiz will not only be her debut on a national tour but also her Broadway debut! THIS IS BLACK EXCELLENCE! @CristinaRaeSing

Matthew Sims Jr. (Swing) hails from the great state of Louisiana but has lived in Los Angeles, New York, and Atlanta. Matthew’s thrilled to have moved to OZ to meet this Wiz and make his Broadway debut! His recent credits include the National Tours of The Book Of Mormon and Motown:The Musical. Matthew is a performer to the core and is passionate about making the day of everyone he meets a little bit brighter. @matthewsimsjr

Avilon Trust Tate (Ensemble) is extremely thankful to be making his Broadway debut! National Tours: Mean Girls (Ensemble, U/S Duvall). Regional: R+H Cinderella (NSMT), Chess (MUNY. IG: @avilon.tate

Keenan D. Washington (Ensemble) also known as singer/ songwriter Little Town, is making his Broadway debut in The Wiz. The Miami, FL native began his theatrical training with Mrs. Tanisha Cidel and received his formal dance training in The Young Contemporary Dance Theater, under the direction of Mrs. Traci Young-Byron. He then went on to receive his B.F.A from The University of the Arts and is an alumnus of New World School of the Arts, The School at Jacob’s Pillow and Springboard Danse de Montreal. Awards: Honorary Webby Award winner for Hercules Muse Medley (YouTube) and NAACP ACT-SO gold medalist and national finalist. Tour: First National Tour of Hamilton: An American Musical (Angelica OG & Philip). Film/TV: Steven Spielberg’s The Color Purple (2023) and Praise This (Peacock), SuperBowl LVI (Kendrick Lamar) & LIV(Shakira), Dancing With The Stars, Masked Singer, NBC’s Peter Pan Live and Hairspray Live Background Singing and Dancing: Mariah Carey, Brandy, Lil Nas X, Taylor Swift, Nicki Minaj, Ariana Grande & more. @littletown.music

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