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Tituss Burgess Cast as Lion in La Jolla The Wiz


On his website, Tituss Burgess--currently on Broadway in Jersey Boys--has announced his casting in the La Jolla Playhouse's upcoming revival of The Wiz, which is possibly Broadway-bound.

Burgess will play the Cowardly Lion in The Wiz, which will be directed by Jersey Boys' Des McAnuff (LaJolla's Artistic Director through April of 2007) and will run at the Mandell Weiss Theatre from September 26th to November 12th.  The San Diego production will also feature "the same creative team that brought Jersey Boys to fruition," according to Burgess.  The performer writes that "it is rumored the production will see New York next year."

McAnuff's The Wiz will be updated. Written in 1975 (with a score by Charlie Smalls and a book by William F. Brown), the revival will take its look and sound into the 21st century to "reflect the shifts that have occurred in the dominant pop culture, in both music and theater," according to an earlier Variety article. The revival of The Wiz has been in development for some years, with the first news of a Broadway production announcing that the show would open in spring of 2004. A retelling of The Wizard of Oz with a black cast, an urban sensibility and a funk-pop score, The Wiz won the 1975 Tony Award for Best Musical.   The new production will feature orchestrations by Harold Wheeler, who worked on the original The Wiz.

Burgess, who plays Hal Miller in Jersey Boys, was previously seen on Broadway in Good Vibrations as Eddie.  Among his regional credits are La Cage aux Folles.  He also recently recorded a debut album.

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