Deborah Cox Melody A. Betts
Deborah Cox Melody A. Betts

Deborah Cox and Melody A. Betts Join Cast of The Wiz

The Wiz is preparing to ease on down the road and further casting has been revealed. Award-winning recording artist Deborah Cox and Melody A. Betts will star in the all-new production of the groundbreaking, Tony Award-winning hit musical The Wiz. Cox will take on the role of Glinda with Betts playing Aunt Em and Evillene on the national tour this fall before heading to Broadway in spring of 2024.

The pair join previously announced names Wayne Brady, Alan Mingo Jr., Kyle Ramar Freeman, Phillip Johnson Richardson, and Avery Wilson. Additional casting will be announced in the coming weeks.

The Wiz will launch its national tour in the Fall of 2023 in Baltimore, MD, home of the 1974 world premiere of the musical, September 23-30, 2023. Following its run at the Hippodrome Theatre, the tour will slide into Emerald cities across the country before it begins its limited engagement on Broadway in the Spring 2024.

Based on L. Frank Baum’s children’s book, “The Wonderful Wizard of Oz”, The Wiz takes one of the world’s most enduring (and enduringly white) American fantasies, and transforms it into an all-Black musical extravaganza for the ages.

The Wiz premiered on Broadway in 1975 and became an instant sensation, going on to win seven Tony Awards including Best Musical, Best Original Score, Best Featured Actor in a Musical (Ted Ross), Best Featured Actress in a Musical (Dee Dee Bridgewater), Best Choreography (George Faison), and in a Broadway first, Best Direction of a Musical and Best Costume Design (Geoffrey Holder). “Ease on Down the Road” became the show’s break-out single, and “Home” has since become a bona fide classic. That original production ran for four years (first at the Majestic Theatre and later at the Broadway Theatre) – and 1,672 performances – on Broadway. A 1978 film adaptation starred Diana Ross, Ted Ross, Mabel King, Richard Pryor and Lena Horne, and marked Quincy Jones’ first collaboration with Michael Jackson.