‘Real Housewives of Atlanta’ Stars Kandi Burruss, Todd Tucker Join ‘The Wiz’ Musical as Producers
“Real Housewives of Atlanta” stars Kandi Burruss and Todd Tucker have joined the producing team for “The Wiz” musical, producers Kristin Caskey, Mike Isaacson, Brian Anthony Moreland and Ambassador Theatre Group announced on Thursday.
In a joint statement, Burruss and Tucker said, “We are thrilled to be part of ‘The Wiz.’ The songs, choreography, costumes, everything about ‘The Wiz’ is epic!” They continued, saying, “We have always said we want to help open the doors of theatre to all people. Theatre has the power to influence and inspire people to create change through art, and that is what we all need now. Art can heal and art can change you. It has changed us. So, come on and ease on down the road with us!”
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Featuring a book by William F. Brown and a Tony Award-winning score by Charlie Smalls (and others), director Schele Williams (“The Notebook,” revival of Elton John and Tim Rice’s “Aida”), award-winning choreographer JaQuel Knight (Beyonce’s “Single Ladies,” “Black is King”), additional material by Emmy-nominated writer and TV host Amber Ruffin (“The Amber Ruffin Show,” “Late Night With Seth Meyers”), Joseph Joubert (music supervision, orchestrations and music arrangements) and Allen René Louis (vocal arrangements, music arrangements) will conjure a new Oz with performances described as a “dynamite infusion of ballet, jazz, and modern pop.”
“The Wiz” design team will include scenic design by Academy Award winner Hannah Beachler (“Black Panther,” Beyonce’s “Black is King” and “Lemonade”), costume design by the Emmy Award-winning and two-time Academy Award-nominated Sharen Davis (“Ray,” “Dreamgirls”), lighting design by Barrymore Award winner Ryan J. O’Gara (“Thoughts of a Colored Man”), sound design by Jon Weston (“Parade”) and wig design by Academy Award winner Mia Neal (“Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom”).
“The Wiz” will launch its national tour this fall in Baltimore, running 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 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.
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“The Wiz” premiered on Broadway in 1975 and won seven Tony Awards: 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).
A feature film adaptation starring Michael Jackson was released in 1978.
Husband and wife duo Burruss and Todd are best known for starring on Bravo’s “The Real Housewives of Atlanta,” where they met. Burruss is a Grammy-winning singer-songwriter and member of the group Xscape. She also created and produced the play “A Mother’s Love” — which was featured on the reality show. “The Real Housewives of Atlanta” recently began airing its 15th season.
In 2022, she joined the producing team of The Piano Lesson, which earned a Tony nomination for Best Revival of a Play and Best Featured Actor (Samuel L. Jackson).
Casting for “The Wiz” will be announced at a further date.
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