ST. LOUIS (May 14, 2018) – The Muny announced today that Emmy and Writers Guild Award-nominated Amber Ruffin will provide new material for the script of The Muny’s production of The Wiz, June 19 – 25. Ruffin has been working with The Wiz’s original book writer, William F. Brown, on The Muny production, with the full support of Charles Michael Smalls, son of The Wiz composer Charlie Smalls. The Muny production is directed by Denis Jones with choreography by Camille A. Brown and music direction by Darryl Archibald. The Wiz is proudly sponsored by Wells Fargo Advisors.
A Nebraska native, Ruffin has written for Late Night with Seth Meyers since 2014, becoming the first African American woman to write for a late-night network talk show in the U.S. In addition to writing for Late Night, Ruffin also appears on the program, and her segments “Amber Says What” and “Jokes Seth Can’t Tell,” are both wildly popular. Other writing credits include: The 75th Golden Globe Awards (2018), 66th Primetime Emmy Awards (2014) and Comedy Central’s Detroiters. Ruffin can also be seen as a series regular on the Emmy Award-winning Drunk History. Recently, she hosted the 2018 Writers Guild Awards in New York and will host the upcoming 2018 Webby Awards.
“We’re so thrilled for The Muny’s 100th to premiere a new version of The Wiz,” said Muny Artistic Director and Executive Producer Mike Isaacson. “Working with The Wiz’s original book writer, William F. Brown, and his wife, Tina Tippit, Amber has brought a wonderful, fresh voice to the show. Anyone who has seen her hilarious work on Late Night with Seth Meyers knows how wise and funny she is. Collaborating with Bill, Tina, Amber and Michael Smalls to create our Muny production has been a joy.”
“I am so honored to be a part of The Wiz,” said Ruffin. “I have so many fond memories of this musical, and I hope this production lights the same spark in people that it did in me!”
Based on L. Frank Baum’s nostalgic classic, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, The Wiz is considered a feel-good favorite sparkling with heart-pounding soul, unforgettable gospel and infectious rock rhythms. Grammy Award-winner for Best Cast Show Album in 1975, and ranked as one of the highest watched live television musicals, this reimagined familiar favorite will have you ready to “Ease on Down the Road” to meet The Wiz for yourself!