Ashanti to Star in NY City Center Encores! Summer Stars THE WIZ

By: Apr. 29, 2009
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Singer/songwriter, actor and author Ashanti will make her stage debut as Dorothy in the New York City Center Encores! Summer Stars production of The Wiz, June 12 - July 5 at New York City Center (W. 55th Street between 6th & 7th Avenues). The Wiz, the 1974 rock and soul musical based on the beloved L. Frank Baum story about Dorothy and her adventures in Oz, will be directed by Thomas Kail and choreographed by Andy Blankenbuehler, with music direction by Alex Lacamoire, (the team responsible for the Tony-winning In the Heights). A June 18th opening is planned.

Ashanti burst onto the music scene with her 2002 self-titled debut album, Ashanti. The album landed at the #1 spot on both the Billboard Top 200 and R&B Album charts, and won the Grammy for Best Contemporary R&B Album. Simultaneously, Ashanti also secured the top spot on the Billboard Hot 100 Singles chart and the R&B/Hip Hop Singles & Tracks chart with her song, "Foolish." She made Billboard history by having her first three chart entries land in the top 10 of the Billboard Hot 100 at the same time, becoming the first woman to accomplish this feat (which was previously attained only by the Beatles). Her follow-up album, Chapter II, debuted in the # 1 slot on the Billboard Album Chart and spawned two Top-10 singles. Ashanti's other albums include Ashanti's Christmas; Concrete Ros; a remix album titled, Collectibles by Ashanti and The Declaration.

Ashanti's film credits include Coach Carter, Resident Evil Extinction, John Tucker Must Die and Bride & Prejudice. Her television credits include "Buffy the Vampire Slayer," "The Muppets' Wizard of Oz," "Sabrina, the Teenage Witch," and "American Dreams," in which she portrayed Dionne Warwick. Her first book of poetry is titled Foolish/Unfoolish: Reflections on Love. (

The Wiz will run June 12 - July 5 Tickets range from $25 - $110 and are available at the New York City Center Box Office (West 55th Street between 6th and 7th Avenues), through CityTix® at 212-581-1212, or online at

THE WIZ PERFORMANCE SCHEDULE: Monday and Tuesday evenings at 7:00 pm; Wednesday - Saturday evenings at 8:00 pm (note: Opening night, June 18 curtain is at 6:30pm); and Wednesday matinees at 2:00 pm. There will be Saturday matinees on June 20 and 27.