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NBC to Host Open Call for 'Dorothy' in THE WIZ LIVE!

BWW has confirmed today that NBC will host an open casting call for 'Dorothy' in THE WIZ LIVE in NYC next month.

Slated for June 6 at Telsey + Company, the call will run from 10:00 am- 2:00pm, with sign-in beginning at 9:00 am. Per the announcement, the network is looking for a female, African-American performer over the age of 18, who "must have an extraordinary voice that can still tell a story, and maturity with a youthful energy."

Those interested in attending the open call must come prepared to perform a short section of 'Home,' Ease on Down the Road,' or 'Be a Lion' a capella.

As previously reported, Stephanie Mills, the original 'Dorothy' in the Broadway production, will star as Aunt Em in NBC's THE WIZ LIVE, with Fatima Robinson serving as choreographer.

"The Wiz" 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.

"The Wiz" tells the classic story hundreds of millions of people have read in the L. Frank Baum books and then saw in the much-beloved 1939 film "The Wizard of Oz," but retold in an African-American/multicultural context. Dorothy, a young woman from Kansas, is swept up in a tornado and relocated to a fantasy world that is inhabited by munchkins, good and bad witches, and, of course, flying monkeys. She eventually takes a path down a yellow brick road to find a wizard who can help her go home and along the way meets a scarecrow, tin man and cowardly lion, who all learn to help one another.

Craig Zadan and Neil Meron produced NBC's two previous live holiday musicals, "The Sound of Music Live!" and "Peter Pan Live!" Most recently the pair produced the 87th Academy Awards telecast, their third consecutive Oscars. In addition to Emmy Award nominations for "The Sound of Music Live!" and the Oscars, Zadan and Meron have been nominated for TV works that include "Gypsy," "Cinderella," "Annie," "The Beach Boys: An American Family" and "A Raisin in the Sun." Zadan and Meron were also Tony nominated in 2011 for their Broadway revival of "How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying." On the big screen, they are the producers of two very successful movie musicals: the Oscar-winning "Chicago" and "Hairspray."

"The Wiz" will be directed by Tony winner and DGA nominee Kenny Leon. In 2014, Leon won a Tony for helming the play "A Raisin in the Sun" and was nominated in 2010 for the Broadway production of "Fences." His 2009 DGA nomination was for the television adaptation of "A Raisin in the Sun." Other small-screen credits include TV movies "Steel Magnolias" "In My Dreams," and "The Watsons Go to Birmingham," as well as television shows such as "Ghost Whisperer" and "Private Practice."

Harvey Fierstein, who will contribute new material to the original book of "The Wiz," is a Broadway legend, both as a prolific writer and star. As a writer, he won Tonys for "La Cage Aux Folles" and "Torch Song Trilogy," and he has also written the books for other musical hits such as "Kinky Boots" and "Newsies." As an actor, he is a member of an elite group who have won Tonys as Best Actor in a Musical (for originating the iconic role of Edna in "Hairspray") and Best Actor in a Play (for his own "Torch Song Trilogy").

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