Nichelle Lewis
Nichelle Lewis

5 Questions with Nichelle Lewis of The Wiz

The Wiz makes its long-anticipated return to Broadway this spring, beginning performances next month at the Marquis Theatre. The Schele Williams–directed revival will boast recognizable stars such as Wayne Brady as the titular Wiz and Deborah Cox as Glinda, but a name you may be hearing for the first time is newcomer Nichelle Lewis.

Lewis will star as the iconic heroine Dorothy, marking her Broadway debut. Hailing from Virginia, Lewis was discovered through a TikTok video and selected from more than 2,000 submissions to star in the coveted role.

Nichelle Lewis

Ahead of her Broadway debut, Lewis is traveling the country in The Wiz’s pre-Broadway run and took time out of her busy touring schedule to answer 5 Questions with Broadway Direct. Find out how film was her gateway to the stage, who inspires her daily, and which passion she could devote all her nights to.

1. What inspired you to become an actor?

Growing up, movie nights were a big thing in my household. We all loved going to different theatres to see films. Some made you laugh, some made you cry, some made you feel powerful and motivated. I think that’s what really inspired me, and when I found out you could go to college for it, I was sold. I dove right in.

2. Who in your field inspires you?

Many people have inspired me in the entertainment industry, but I have to shout out the cast of The Wiz. My castmates inspire me so much. They come to work ready to go and give it their all every single day. They are some of the most talented, kind, supportive, and loving people I’ve had the opportunity to work with.

Kyle Ramar Freeman, Nichelle Lewis, Phillip Johnson Richardson, and Avery Wilson in The Wiz. Photo by Jeremy Daniel.
Kyle Ramar Freeman, Nichelle Lewis, Phillip Johnson Richardson, and Avery Wilson in The Wiz. Photo by Jeremy Daniel.

3. What will audiences be most excited about seeing in The Wiz?

I think audiences will be most excited to see a group of individuals who love what they do! We have such an amazingly talented cast, who work very hard to give people an experience they can take home, and I know they blow me away every night.

4. If you didn’t need to sleep, what would you spend your time doing?

Oh, I love this question! If I didn’t need to sleep at night, I would spend my time writing songs. All night long. Writing music is just so exhilarating to me. I constantly have music playing in my head, so if I sit down in silence for longer than a few minutes, a song will pop up that’s never existed. I’m not sure what it is, but I noticed it when I was a kid and I’ve been writing since I was 9 years old.

5. What is your favorite NYC spot?

My home is probably my favorite place to be at when I’m in the city. I’m a bit of a homebody. I love putting on my candle warmer, grabbing snacks, my puppy, and turning on a movie or Abbott Elementary, my new favorite show to watch. But I also love going to Battery Park as well! It’s beautiful over there by the water.

You can catch Nichelle Lewis in The Wiz at the Marquis Theatre this spring.

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