The Wiz Live has found its courage-challenged feline. David Alan Grier, a three-time Tony nominee who co-stars on NBC’s upcoming comedy series The Carmichael Show, has been tapped to play the Cowardly Lion in the network’s December 3 live production of the 1975 Broadway musical based on The Wizard Of Oz. Grier joins a cast that includes Queen Latifah, Mary J. Blige and Stephanie Mills.
Grier’s Broadway credits include Tony noms for The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess, The First and Race. He also co-starred in the original production of Dreamgirls. TV viewers know Grier from his long stint on the 1990s sketch-comedy show In Living Color along with regular roles on Bad Teacher and Life With Bonnie. He also has appeared in such features as A Soldier’s Story, Jumanji and The Woodsman.
Executive produced by Craig Zadan and Neil Meron (The Sound Of Music Live!, Peter Pan Live!), directed by Kenny Leon with Harvey Fierstein providing new written material, The Wiz Live! is the first NBC live musical to be done in collaboration with Cirque Du Soleil Theatrical whose signature styles of visual acrobatics will be used in key scenes, including the tornado and the flying monkeys.