David Alan Grier is joining NBC’s upcoming holiday production of “The Wiz Live!,” set for Thursday, December. 3.
Grier will play the Cowardly Lion who asks Dorothy if he can join her in her journey down the Yellow Brick Road, and asks the Wiz for some courage, which he is severely lacking.
He joins the previously-cast Queen Latifah, Stephanie Mills and Mary J. Blige to the telecast.
Queen Latifah stars as the Wiz, and Mary J. Blige will play Evillene, the Wicked Witch of the West.
Stephanie Mills (who played Dorothy in the original Broadway production of “The Wiz”) will portray Auntie Em in NBC’s December production.
“The Wiz Live!” is adapted from “The Wonderful Wizard of Oz” by L. Frank Baum, with a book by William F. Brown, and music and lyrics by Charlie Smalls. The production opened on Broadway in 1975 at the Majestic Theatre and won seven Tonys, including Best Musical.
Craig Zadan and Neil Meron (“The Sound of Music Live!,” “Peter Pan Live!,” Oscar-winning “Chicago”) will executive produce. Kenny Leon (Tony winner, “A Raisin in the Sun”) is stage director and Matthew Diamond is TV director, with Harvey Fierstein (three-time Tony winner, “Torch Song Trilogy,” “Hairspray” and “La Cage aux Folles”) providing new written material.
Esteemed choreographer Fatima Robinson (“Dreamgirls,” “Ali”) is also on board, along with music producer Harvey Mason Jr. (“Dreamgirls, “Pitch Perfect 2”) and Stephen Oremus (“The Book of Mormon,” “Kinky Boots”) as music director, orchestrator and co-producer of the music.
“The Wiz Live!” is produced by Universal Television in association with Cirque Du Soleil Theatrical.
Grier will next be seen in NBC’s late summer comedy series “The Carmichael Show,” which debuts Wednesday, August 26.