The Wiz Live! held open auditions for the role of Dorothy, and one lucky New Jersey native beat out hundreds. Eighteen-year-old Shanice Williams landed the lead role of Dorothy, and the newcomer only has a few roles under her belt.
According to the Hollywood Reporter, Williams has five years of musical training, including extensive dance and piano, and has co-starred in several local productions, including West Side Story; You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown; 42nd Street; Seussical; and Pippin.
Williams joins Mary J. Blige, who will play the Wicked Witch of the West, and David Alan Grier, who has been cast as the Cowardly Lion. Stephanie Mills will take on the role of Auntie Em, and Queen Latifah will be the Wiz.
Producers of The Wiz Live! said they were looking for new talent when it came to the role of Dorothy, even though some people had high hopes for singers such as Janelle Monáe or even Kelly Rowland.
As Williams slips on the ruby slippers for a role that will probably become one of the biggest in her life, one has to wonder who her Tin Man and Scarecrow will be.
The Wiz Live! airs Dec. 3 on NBC.