‘The Wiz’ revival will be led by Wayne Brady and Alan Mingo Jr., splitting the spotlight

‘The Wiz’ revival will be led by Wayne Brady and Alan Mingo Jr. sharing the spotlight
(Christopher Smith / Invision/Associated Press)
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Wayne Brady and Alan Mingo Jr. will lead the Broadway revival of “The Wiz.”

This isn’t the first time Brady and Mingo have shared a role. The two men stepped into high-heeled red latex boots for Broadway’s Tony-winning “Kinky Boots,” and now they’re set to play the man behind the curtain in the revival of “The Wiz.” The U.S. tour kicks off this fall and arrives on Broadway in 2024.

“Me and Wayne go way back to where we were friends in Los Angeles as actors,” Mingo said, per the Associated Press. “So what better way to share a gig with your friends?”


“It’s a dream. It truly is a dream,” Brady added.

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Brady will star as the Wiz in San Francisco from Jan. 16 to Feb. 11 at the Golden Gate Theatre, and in Los Angeles from Feb. 13 to March 3, before landing on Broadway in spring 2024.

Mingo will play the Wiz in the remaining cities of the national tour, beginning with the launch in Baltimore and including Cleveland; Washington, D.C.; Pittsburgh; Charlotte, N.C.; Atlanta; Greenville, S.C.; Chicago; Des Moines, Iowa; Tempe, Ariz.; and San Diego.

After Billy Porter passed the boots to Brady, the Emmy-winning “Whose Line Is It Anyway” star passed the role of the “Kinky Boots” razzle-dazzle drag queen Lola to Mingo in 2016.

“Now I’ll go on the road [in ‘The Wiz’] and then hand him the baton,” Mingo said.

“The Wiz” was on Brady’s bucket list for roles he wanted to play over the course of his career. “I always wanted to be in ‘The Wiz.’ I always wanted to be in ‘Dreamgirls.’ Those were two of the classics that, as a kid, were kind of the North Star of theater. It was like, ‘Hey, if you can be in one of these shows, then that means that you’ve made it.’ ”

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The cast also includes Avery Wilson portraying the Scarecrow, Kyle Ramar Freeman as the Lion and Phillip Johnson Richardson playing the Tin Man.

“Aida” director Schele Williams will be at the helm of “The Wiz” and hopes the revival will become a “touchstone for a new generation.” JaQuel Knight, who was behind the iconic moves in Beyoncé’s “Single Ladies,” will choreograph the production.


The musical debuted on Broadway in 1975 and won seven Tony Awards, including best musical, and the 2023 revival features a book by William F. Brown and a score by Charlie Smalls. A 1978 film adaptation starred Diana Ross, Michael Jackson, Lena Horne and Richard Pryor as the title character.

In 2015, NBC aired “The Wiz Live!,” which starred “Glee” alum Amber Riley, Elijah Kelley, Ne-Yo, David Alan Grier, Uzo Aduba, and Queen Latifah as the Wiz.

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Both Brady and Mingo say the show — featuring Black actors front and center — has a new resonance as it eases on down the road over the coming months.

“I think of all these people of color on this stage telling the story of a young woman who’s lost and looking for something. She’s disenfranchised and she happens to meet three other young people who are all looking for something and they can’t get the answers from the older people around them because the world is in chaos. She has to step up to the plate and find her way — absolutely now is the time.”

Associated Press contributed to this report.