*Ne-Yo will star as Tin Man in NBC’s holiday production of “The Wiz,” set to air LIVE on Dec. 3. The network has released the first photo of the star-studded cast, and Oz hasn’t looked this delightful since the 1978 film starring Diana Ross and Michael Jackson.
“He is a woodsman translated into the world of tin,” Tony-nominated costume designer Paul Tazewell tells PEOPLE of Ne-Yo’s Tin Man. “It’s much more literal to work clothing than it is created out of a patchwork of metal. And it’s topped off with a tree-worker’s metal hat.”
Shanice Williams plays Dorothy in NBC’s modern retelling of the story. Elijah Kelley is the Scarecrow, and funnyman David Alan Grier is unrecognizable as the Cowardly Lion. Singer Stephanie Mills, who played the original Dorothy in “The Wiz” on Broadway, will play Aunt Em in the special.
Also on board are Queen Latifah as “The Wiz,” the powerful wizard who holds young Dorothy’s fate in her hands and Mary J. Blige will play Evillene, the Wicked Witch of the West.
As the New York Daily News reports, “The Wiz” found major success on Broadway during the 1970s, winning the Tony Award for Best Musical before being adapted to the silver screen in 1978.
“The Wiz Live” is the third time executive producers Craig Zadan and Neil Meron have collaborated on a musical production for live television. They teamed on NBC’s specials of “The Sound of Music” and “Peter Pan Live!”
“We’re creating a fantasy land that also is inspired by some of the imagery you’d see today,” Tazewell says of ‘The Wiz Live.’ “It’s the edgiest of high-fashion from now but in the world of the Emerald City.”
Catch the new spin on the 1975 Broadway classic when it airs Dec. 3 on NBC.
Ne-Yo as the Tin Man: