Wayne Brady, Common, Amber Ruffin walk yellow carpet for ‘The Wiz’ opening night

(17 Apr 2024)
New York – 17 April 2024
1. Wide shot of carpet
2. Wayne Brady posing
3. SOUNDBITE (English) Wayne Brady, actor:
“Well, because it’s a beautiful moment. It is a – it is a story rooted in culture. It’s more than just someone saying, ‘oh, well, listen, that just the, just the Black version of ‘The Wizard of Oz.’ I mean, it’s a retelling, but it’s a retelling through a cultural lens, through something that is inclusive as well. Just because it’s through our cultural lens doesn’t mean that it’s just for certain people. This is our story, our language, our music, but for everyone to enjoy and that’s amazing.”
4. Various of Deborah Cox posing
5. Medium of Deborah Cox talking to press
6. SOUNDBITE (English) Deborah Cox, actor:
“It’s necessary. It’s necessary for us as creatives to create, musicals and projects that reflect everyone’s, you know, perspective. As a Black performer, it was very, very tough growing up, not seeing people that looked like me on screen or on stage. And so, like I said, it’s been 50 years since this version has been done on Broadway. It’s a time to celebrate, you know, celebrate our Blackness, celebrate our culture, and, and share our culture with other people that may not know much about ‘The Wiz’.”
7. Various of Nichelle Lewis during a makeup touch-up
8. Various of Nichelle Lewis posing
9. SOUNDBITE (English) Nichelle Lewis, actor:
“I think for me it just feels life changing. It’s something that I’ve always wanted to do, is just inspire people and help people realize that they can be up there too, no matter what they look like, no matter who they are, no matter where they come from. So to be able to even hear people tell me like ‘This was everything I needed. I’m so grateful for you just representing us up there.’ That has touched me in ways I can’t even explain.”
10. Various of Nichelle Lewis talking with press
11. Avery Wilson, Phillip Johnson Richardson, Nichelle Lewis posing for photos
12. Medium of Amber Ruffin talking with press
13. SOUNDBITE (English) Amber Ruffin, actor:
“I put my touch on it to not just update it, but to make it timeless. And so I like to think that that’s what we achieved because ‘The Wizard of Oz,’ you can set it today, you can set it 30 years from now, 30 years ago. I wanted that same thing for ‘The Wiz,’ and now I think we’ve achieved it so it can survive long beyond us.”
14. Wide of Amber Ruffin talking with press
15. Various of Stephanie Mills with family
16. Stephanie Mills talking with press
17. SOUNDBITE (English) Stephanie Mills, actor:
“Back in 1975. First of all, I must pay homage to Judy Garland because as a little girl, I watched it every Easter. So in 1975, when I got a chance to play the role, I was elated. But I never thought in a million years – – I’m 67 now — that I would be back watching ‘The Wiz’ 49 years later. So it’s wonderful.”
18. Wide shot Stephanie Mills
19.Wide shot Common waiting by the carpet
20. Push in Common
21. SOUNDBITE (English) Common, recording artist:
“The film like it was one of the first films that I ever fell in love with. ‘The Wiz’, like, I mean, it was everything for me. Like I listened to the album over and over because of the film. It has some of my favorite artists, musicians, talents ever, like Richard Pryor, Michael Jackson, Nipsey Russell, like Diana Ross. Come on, it was like,it was full of the greats. And then now I’m getting to be a producer on this, this play is amazing for me. This is like, for me to be a kid and know how much I loved ‘The Wiz’. And now to be here, seeing it on Broadway. And for me to be a producer is amazing.”

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