Shanice Williams Lands Breakout Role of Dorothy in NBC’s The Wiz Live!

Shanice Williams as Dorothy on THE WIZ LIVE!
Shanice Williams is taking on the role of Dorothy in NBC's The Wiz Live! Jeff Riedel/NBC

Ready to ease on down the road! NBC announced on Wednesday, Aug. 5, that the coveted role of Dorothy has been filled for the network's upcoming production of The Wiz Live!

Newcomer Shanice Williams will take on the storied traveler who finds her way to the Emerald City. The 18-year-old New Jersey native will make her television debut when the live show hits airwaves on Dec. 3. 

Williams appeared on the Today show on Wednesday morning, shedding a few tears as she met the famed anchors and talked about the huge opportunity ahead of her. 

"This is always what I've wanted to do," Williams said of the gig. "So I guess I'm ready! I'm ready now."

The rising star will be filling some huge shoes in the coming months. Stephanie Mills originally played Dorothy on Broadway's 1970s The Wiz, dusting off her silver slippers once more for the 1980s revival, while Diana Ross took on the role in the 1978 big-screen adaptation.

Mills, 58, will find her way to the yellow-brick road once more, as NBC announced that the star will play Auntie Em in The Wiz Live! Mills and Williams will also be joined in the network production by celebrated actor David Alan Grier, who recently booked the role of The Cowardly Lion.

David Alan Grier

Other famous faces in the cast of The Wiz Live! include Queen Latifah (The Wiz) and Mary J. Blige (The Wicked Witch of the West Evillene). The upcoming production follows previous successful ventures by NBC of The Sound of Music Live! and Peter Pan Live! in 2013 and 2014, respectively. 

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