Celebrating Black History Month: Encores! Eases On Down the Road with THE WIZ in 2009

The limited run starred James Monroe Iglehart, Joshua Henry, LaChanze, Ashanti and more!

By: Feb. 14, 2021
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This February, BroadwayWorld is committed to celebrating the outstanding contributions that black artists have made to the American theatre. Join us for Black History month as we shine a spotlight on some of the most influential productions from Broadway's past. Today is all about the 2009 return of The Wiz.

The Wiz is a musical with music and lyrics by Charlie Smalls and book by William F. Brown. It is a retelling of L. Frank Baum's children's novel The Wonderful Wizard of Oz (1900) in the context of contemporary African-American culture. It opened on October 21, 1974, at the Morris A. Mechanic Theatre in Baltimore, and then moved to Broadway's Majestic Theatre, starring Stephanie Mills, Dee Dee Bridgewater, Tiger Haynes, Ted Ross, Stu Gilliam and André DeShields.

The 1975 Broadway production won seven Tony Awards, including Best Musical. It has had revivals in New York, London, San Diego, and the Netherlands, a film adaptation in 1978 (starring Diana Ross, Richard Pryor, Lena Horne and Michael Jackson), and a live television version in 2015 (starring Queen Latifah, Mary J. Blige, Uzo Aduba, and newcomer Shanice Williams).

Today we're taking a closer look at the 2009 Encores! production, which starred James Monroe Iglehart, Joshua Henry, LaChanze, Ashanti and more. Watch as we take you inside rehearsals with the cast!