Husband-and-wife team Kandi Burruss and Todd Tucker have joined the producing team for the upcoming Broadway-bound touring revival of The Wiz, set to launch at Baltimore, Maryland's Hippodrome Theatre September 26.
Burruss and Tucker have added their names to a producer list that also includes Kristin Caskey, Mike Isaacson, Brian Anthony Moreland, and Ambassador Theatre Group.
"We are thrilled to be part of The Wiz," say Burruss and Tucker in a statement. "The songs, choreography, costumes, everything about The Wiz is epic! 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!"
The pair previously served as producers on Broadway's 2023 Tony-nominated revival of August Wilson's The Piano Lesson, which followed Burruss' Broadway producer debut with 2021's Thoughts of a Colored Man. Burruss, a reality star and a singer-songwriter, met now-husband Tucker while filming The Real Housewives of Atlanta. Tucker served as a line producer for the Bravo series. Burruss and Tucker continue to live in Atlanta, where The Wiz is scheduled to visit on its pre-Broadway tour. See the full itinerary at WizMusical.com.
Schele Williams is directing the new production, leading a creative team that also includes 2023 Tony Award nominee Amber Ruffin, who will provide additional material. The gig is Ruffin's second theatrical outing, following her work co-writing the Tony-nominated book to Broadway's current Some Like It Hot with Matthew López. Joseph Joubert will provide music supervision, orchestrations, and arrangements, with scenic design by Hannah Beachler, costume design by Sharen Davis, lighting design by Ryan J. O'Gara, and wig design by Mia Neal.
Casting, to be announced, is being handled by Tara Rubin Casting.
The Wiz premiered on Broadway in 1975, transforming L. Frank Baum's classic children's novel into an all-Black "super soul musical," as it was originally billed. A surprise hit of the season, the musical won seven Tony Awards, including Best Musical, Score, Featured Actor in a Musical (Ted Ross), Featured Actress in a Musical (Dee Dee Bridgewater), Choreography (George Faison), and Direction of a Musical and Costume Design (both Geoffrey Holder). The score's "Ease On Down the Road" and "Home" became breakout hits, and original star Stephanie Mills was propelled into stardom. The musical made the jump to the big screen in 1978 with a film adaptation starring Diana Ross, Lena Horne, Richard Pryor, Michael Jackson, and, reprising his Broadway performance as the Cowardly Lion, Ross.
The musical got the live TV treatment via NBC in 2015, a production that was initially announced as being Broadway bound following the television premiere. That revival, which would have been produced by Neil Meron and the late Craig Zadan, never materialized.