NBC will travel down the yellow brick road, announcing Monday that its next live musical will be The Wiz.
Cirque du Soleil will coproduce the musical under its new stage theatrical division. Following the TV broadcast, Cirque du Soleil will take The Wiz for a run on Broadway during the 2016-17 season. The play, a retelling of L. Frank Baum's The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, ran on Broadway for four years in the mid-1970s.
NBC plans to air The Wiz on Dec. 3, 2015.
Craig Zadan and Neil Meron, who helmed NBC’s previous musicals Peter Pan and The Sound of Music, will return for The Wiz. Kenny Leon is attached to direct both the NBC version and the Broadway revival. Harvey Fierstein will contribute new material to the original Broadway book by William F. Brown and work alongside Zadan, Meron and Leon.
“We love this yearly tradition and we’re more excited than ever to not only bring another Broadway musical to America’s living rooms, but also see it land on Broadway as well,” said NBC Entertainment chairman Bob Greenblatt. “It’s a natural next step for our live musical events and we’re so pleased to be in business with this award-winning creative team and Scott Zeiger, President and Managing Director of Cirque du Soleil’s new theatrical division.”