Nobody beats the Wiz. After the network successfully adapted The Sound of Music and Peter Pan into live, televised musicals at the ends of 2013 and 2014, respectively, NBC turned to another beloved property, The Wiz. With Queen Latifah already confirmed as the titular character--and with Mary J. Blige waiting in the wings as Evilene--Tony-winning director Kenny Leon has tapped two more musicians for roles. Common, who won an Academy Award for his musical contributions to Selma, in which he also acted, will play the gatekeeper to Oz, and Ne-Yo will fill the Tin Man's role. The singers and rappers join a cast that includes In Living Color alum David Alan Grier and Orange is the New Black's Uzo Aduba. Shanice Williams, an 18-year-old from New Jersey who has never before appeared on television, will star as Dorothy.

The Wiz is a musical retelling of The Wizard of Oz in the context of Black culture. Written by Charlie Smalls, it made its Broadway debut in 1975 to rave reviews, taking home seven Tonys, including Best Musical. The original production ran for four years; NBC's special will serve as a precursor to the show's revival in the 2016-17 Broadway season. Stephanie Mills, who originated the role of Dorothy, will appear here as Auntie Em. Common, fresh off that Oscar and his 10th solo album, Nobody's Smiling, has never before been cast in a musical. The Like Water For Chocolate rapper will also appear in the star-studded Suicide SquadThe Wiz Live! airs this December.