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New York, NY – Producers Kristin Caskey, Mike Isaacson, Brian Anthony Moreland, and Ambassador Theatre Group announced today that an all-new production of the groundbreaking, Tony Award-winning musical The Wiz, adapted from The Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum, is easing on down the road toward a national tour before returning to Broadway for a limited engagement in the 2023/24 season. Featuring a book by William F. Brown and a Tony Award-winning score by Charlie Smalls (and others), this entirely reimagined revival is directed by Schele Williams (in her Broadway directorial debut), choreographed by Jaquel Knight (in his Broadway debut), additional material by Amber Ruffin, and music supervision, orchestrations, and music arrangements by Joseph Joubert.

The Wiz will launch its national tour in the Fall of 2023 in Baltimore, MD, home of the 1974 world premiere of the musical.  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.

Director Williams commented, “I wouldn’t be on Broadway if it wasn’t for The Wiz…the music, the costumes, the choreography and Stephanie Mills! 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.”

In a statement, Mr. Knight said, “It is a dream come true to be a part of what I consider the epitome of black excellence. 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, & attitude. I’m honored to stand on the backs of those greats who’ve opened this door, such as the Louis Johnson and George Faison; and I am thrilled to be given the opportunity to help show kids who look like me that the Theater is a world where they can see themselves.”

The Wiz is a beloved, joyous, and fantastic musical celebrating Black excellence,” commented the producers. “Inspired by the original visions of Geoffrey Holder and George Faison, we are honored to give way to a new generation of Black artists who love this show as much as we do. We are thrilled to now bring The Wiz to theatregoers around the U.S. and on Broadway.”

“I am thrilled my father’s music and The Wiz is returning to Broadway,” said Michael Smalls, son of The Wiz composer Charlie Smalls.  “I am so happy to know a new generation will be discovering these wonderful songs and learn of my father’s extraordinary talent.”

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 is by Tara Rubin Casting. The design team will be announced at a later date.


Schele Williams is a director committed to cultivating new musicals and devised work with authentic representation. She is currently directing the upcoming Broadway revivals of Aida (Disney Theatrical Group) and The Wiz as well as the premieres of Mandela the Musical and Indigo. She will be helming Hidden Figures currently in development with Disney Theatrical Group. Schele has directed at regional theaters and festivals across the country and has a long history of work on Broadway in Rent, Aida, and Motown: The Musical. Passionate about pairing social justice with the arts, Schele is a founding member of Black Theatre United, an organization committed to dismantling systemic racism on our streets and stages. She has been a member of Broadway Inspirational Voices for over two decades and serves as chairperson of the board. She is also on the board of trustees for Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS.

Amber Ruffin is a writer, executive producer, and host of the Emmy and WGA Award-nominated series “The Amber Ruffin Show” on Peacock. She is also an Emmy and WGA Award-nominated writer and performer for NBC’s “Late Night with Seth Meyers.” Ruffin was the first African American female to write for a late-night network talk show in the U.S. She wrote and performed on Comedy Central’s “Detroiters” and was a regular narrator on the network’s “Drunk History.” Next up, Amber is set to supervise and executive produce on the NBC put pilot “Aunties” created by Shantira Jackson. Ruffin was previously a performer at Boom Chicago in Amsterdam, the iO Theater and the Second City in Chicago. In addition, she was a writer/performer for the 2018 and 2019 Golden Globe Awards and has written for the series “A Black Lady Sketch Show.” Ruffin is a New York Times bestselling author, along with her sister Lacey Lamar, of “You’ll Never Believe What Happened to Lacey: Crazy Stories of Racism,” published by Grand Central Publishing. Recently, Ruffin was named to the 2021 TIME100 Next List, TIME’s list of the next 100 most influential people in the world. Amber has collaborated on campaigns with the CDC, Hologic, and more.

JaQuel Knight is a director, creative director, entrepreneur and critically acclaimed, award-winning choreographer known for creating some of the most memorable moments in dance and entertainment history. His rise to global recognition came at the age of 18, when he created the choreography for Beyoncé’s “Single Ladies (Put A Ring On It).” As a choreographer, JaQuel has lent his creative expertise to projects such as Beyoncé’s “Black Is King” film and “Homecoming” documentary for Netflix; the Shakira Super Bowl Halftime performance with Jennifer Lopez; and Cardi B & Megan Thee Stallion’s “WAP” video. Additionally, he has worked with artists like Marshmello, Cher, Britney Spears, The Chicks, Miley Cyrus, Pink, Zara Larsson, Victoria Monét, Ben Platt, Kanye West, Pharrell, Diddy, N*E*R*D, and Big Sean. As a director, JaQuel has worked on projects for Megan Thee Stallion, Pharrell, Chance the Rapper, Zara Larsson, Muni Long, and more. JaQuel served as creative director and choreographer for all things Megan Thee Stallion in 2020, and Diddy this past year, and is gearing up to direct his first feature film. In 2013, JaQuel launched his own production company, J.K. Creatives, Inc, which oversees artists, songwriters, and producers, and produces music videos & short films. J.K. Creatives houses its own media department, where JaQuel creates and develops content for TV, film, and digital, from scripted features to nonscripted competitions and series. He also operates his eponymous non-profit organization, The JaQuel Knight Foundation, targeting community focused initiatives aimed to build, uplift and inspire the next generation of artists. He is recognized as the first pop/hip-hop commercial choreographer to copyright his choreography with “Single Ladies (Put A Ring On It),” and has launched Knight Choreography and Music Publishing where he and his manager work to ensure that choreographers and songwriters receive royalties for their compositions.

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