Uzo Aduba and Amber Riley Have Joined the Cast of NBC’s The Wiz Live

Posted by at 11:58 am on August 6, 2015

uzo-aduba-amber-riley“Orange Is the New Black” star Uzo Aduba and “Glee’s” Amber Riley have joined the cast of NBC’s “The Wiz Live!” Aduba will play Glinda, the Good Witch of the South, who finally reveals the secret of the silver slippers to Dorothy and points her way home.

Riley will portray Addaperle, the Good Witch of the North. She is the sister of Glinda, Evillene and Evvamene, the other three witches of Oz. Addaperle points Dorothy to the Yellow Brick Road and her journey to Emerald City.

The pair joins Queen Latifah, who will play the Wiz; Mary J. Blige, who is set as the Wicked Witch of the West; David Alan Grier as the Cowardly Lion; original cast member Stephanie Mills, who will play Aunt Em; and Shanice Williams, who landed the lead role of Dorothy.

“We are so happy to welcome two actors we’ve admired and wanted so much to work with,” said exec producers Craig Zadan and Neil Meron. “We look forward to showcasing the amazing musical talents of Amber and we are eager to introduce Uzo’s remarkable singing voice for those who know her solely as an extraordinary dramatic actress.”

Aduba, who is up for another Emmy this year for her work on Netflix’s “OITNB,” made her Broadway debut in “Coram Boy” in 2007 and then appeared in the hit musical revival of “Godspell” in 2011. Her other theater credits include “Translations of Xhosa,” “Dessa Rose,” “Turnado: Rumble for the Ring” and “Abyssinia.” She graduated with a classical music major from the Boston University School of Fine Arts.

Riley played Mercedes Jones on Fox’s song-and-dance hit “Glee,” showing off her musical abilities, and also won Season 17 of “Dancing With the Stars.”

Along with exec producers Zadan and Meron, the creative team includes stage director Kenny Leon, TV director Matthew Diamond and writer Harvey Fierstein.

NBC’s “Wiz” is adapted from L. Frank Baum’s classic “The Wonderful Wizard of Oz,” with a book by William F. Brown, and music and lyrics by Charlie Smalls. The original musical opened on Broadway in 1975. In 1978, the show was turned into a movie, which starred Diana Ross, Michael Jackson, Lena Horne and Richard Pryor.

“The Wiz Live!” debuts on Dec. 3.

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