Wayne Brady & Deborah Cox on How They’re Reviving & Updating ‘The Wiz,’ Nichelle Lewis’ Talent & More | Billboard News

Wayne Brady, Deborah Cox, JaQUEL Knight and Amber Ruffin talk about how they’re reviving and updating ‘The Wiz’ for today, why it is important to the culture, the talent of lead Nichelle Lewis, being able to break barriers on Broadway with the show and more!

Wayne Brady
I’m Wayne Brady.

JaQuel Knight
I’m JaQuel Knight.

Amber Ruffin
I’m Amber Ruffin.

Deborah Cox
I’m Deborah Cox.

The ‘Wiz’ Cast & Creative
And this is Billboard News.

Rebecca Milzoff
This is really the first major revival that’s happened of the show since the original production in the ’70s. I think of ‘The Wiz’ as a show that is so important to so many people coming up in musical theater. A lot of people get to do it in high school and college. And yet, this is really the first major remounting we’re seeing. What did it mean to all of you growing up as people in entertainment and the arts loving the movie?

Wayne Brady
Loving the movies, having the movie being this inspirational and aspirational thing. We’re like, oh, people that look like me can do that thing. And I want to do that thing. And the songs are so amazing and you can get lost in it. And so I know for me, it was definitely one of the drivers that made me go, Oh, I think I can do this.

Deborah Cox
It means everything to me to be in the show, really. And truly, I have never had the opportunity to play a real whimsical, fun, out-of-this-world type of character. And I love that I get to display that every night onstage.

Watch the full video above!

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