Hopeful singers who missed out on “America’s Got Talent” auditions or a chance for a walk-on role on “Empire” will have another opportunity to try out in front of network executives. NBC is holding casting auditions next week for their upcoming TV musical, “The Wiz Live!”
— Stephanie Mills (@PrettyMill1) July 9, 2015
The search is on for the next Dorothy, originally portrayed by Diana Ross in the 1978 Sydney Lumet film with Michael Jackson and by Stephanie Mills in the original Broadway production. Deadline reports the network is looking to cast an unknown for the starring role.
So, where and when can you show off your singing shops? NBC has announced it will hold auditions at Third Street Dance in Los Angeles on Monday, July 20. (New York locals had the chance to audition in June.) Singers must bring “an extraordinary voice” and “youthful energy” along with a few rehearsed songs from the original “The Wiz” stage musical.
— FilmTVDiversity (@FilmTVDiversity) July 13, 2015
“The Wiz Live!” has become a part of an accidental TV trend. With the surprise breakout smash of “The Sound of Music Live!” in 2013, NBC decided to continue its production efforts with more musicals. Next year’s “Peter Pan Live!” did not bring back as many viewers according to Deadline, but “The Wiz” will go in a new creative direction, thanks to Cirque du Soleil. The necessity of live viewing (for advertising sake) makes these star-studded grand TV events “much watch” viewing the moment it’s broadcast instead of later viewing on Video On Demand or streaming services.
And the musical fever has spread to yet another network. Fox will embark on its own Broadway venture when it premieres “Grease” live on Jan. 31, 2016. The musical will feature the talents of Keke Palmer, Aaron Tveit, Carlos PenaVega, Julianne Hough and Vanessa Hudgens. “Grease: Live” was first proposed in 2014, but the production is still casting a few more roles before its debut next year.
“The Wiz Live!” will air Dec. 3 at 8 p.m. EDT on NBC.