Nichelle Lewis, a 24-year-old entertainer, generally known as a triple risk in theater, music and social media, will star within the revival of “The Wiz” on Broadway.
A seasoned actress who has appeared in “Hairspray” and showcased her vocal prowess on “American Idol,” Lewis reportedly captivated casting brokers along with her artistic TikTok escapades.
Now the Virginia native has seized the coveted function of Dorothy.
The function locations her within the prestigious lineage of iconic performers like R&B famous person Stephanie Mills and pop icon Diana Ross.
“It’s been a fairly loopy journey,” Lewis conveyed in an Related Press interview on Monday. “I’m honored to be making my debut as Dorothy. I do know I’m following in some actually massive footsteps.”
“The Wiz” will quickly start a tour throughout america, beginning in Baltimore this fall and heading to Broadway in 2024.
Lewis will act alongside Wayne Brady and Alan Mingo Jr., who will take turns taking part in the mysterious character generally known as the Wiz.
Singer and actress Deborah Cox will grace the stage as Glinda.
The forged contains Kyle Ramar Freeman because the Lion, Phillip Johnson Richardson because the Tin Man, and Avery Wilson because the Scarecrow.
A graduate of Molloy College’s class of 2021, Lewis ingeniously harnessed the attain of her modest TikTok account to showcase her vocal vary.
Considered one of her renditions, “Dwelling” from “The Wiz,” resounded far and extensive, reaching the ears of astute casting brokers who promptly beckoned her to audition.
“I’m so excited that this is part of my story, as a result of I really feel like there’s so many individuals on the market who began out with such a small following, and I really feel like they’re laborious on themselves about it,” she remarked.
“However I’m like, ‘You by no means know who’s watching these movies.’ I by no means knew that ‘The Wiz’ was taking a look at my movies.”
“The Wiz,” an adaptation of L. Frank Baum’s timeless “The Fantastic Wizard of Oz” is a e-book by William F. Brown and is dropped at life via the music and lyrics of Charlie Smalls.
Lewis acknowledged the significance of the heroine’s quest to find herself in a wierd world and mentioned she helps others to find their true selves.
“I really feel prefer it’s extraordinarily vital for folks, particularly proper now, to see that they are often highly effective simply by being themselves and simply by being particular person and distinctive,” she instructed the AP.
“So, I believe that’s how the present speaks to me.”
One other DMV native, Marjuan Canady, can also be contributing to the Broadway-bound present.
Having served as a producer in Broadway’s 2022 manufacturing of “Demise of a Salesman,” and named a 2023 “Girl to Watch on Broadway ” by the Broadway Ladies’s Fund, Canady continues to blaze a path via the normal American theatre canon. The Caribbean- American artist, mom and Duke Ellington Faculty of the Arts graduate is again as co-producer to “The Wiz.”
“The Wiz” initially debuted on Broadway in 1975, incomes seven Tony Awards, together with the coveted title of Greatest Musical. The manufacturing included memorial songs like “What Would I Do If I May Really feel” and “Ease on Down the Street.” It featured Mills as Dorothy, Dee Dee Bridgewater as the nice witch Glinda, and Andre De Shields because the enigmatic Wiz.
The 1978 cinematic adaptation featured Diana Ross, Lena Horne, Richard Pryor, Michael Jackson, Nipsey Russell, and Ted Ross.
In 2015, a stay televised rendition featured Queen Latifah, Ne-Yo, and David Alan Grier.
Together with her mom embracing the information with jubilant tears and ecstatic exclamations, Lewis acknowledged the transformation her life might now take.
“She’s like, ‘Your life goes to alter,’” Lewis spoke of her mom’s response.
“And I’m like, ‘I don’t know. It in all probability will. I really feel so blessed, and I’m so glad I get to share it along with her.”