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Wayne Brady gives powerful speech after his final performance in The Wiz: ‘This is a moment’

wayne brady face shot during Spider-Man Far From Home Premiere in Los Angeles
Wayne Brady praised his castmates following his final performance of The Wiz. Pic credit: ©ImageCollect.com/Carrie-nelson

After weeks as the title character, Wayne Brady officially concluded his final appearance in Broadway’s revival of The Wiz.

Brady, known for hosting TV’s Let’s Make a Deal, delivered an inspirational speech about being surrounded by “talent” and “greatness.”

“This was my last show as The Wiz,” Brady shared while still in costume, with castmates on stage behind him.

The musical revival began a national tour in September 2023 before transferring to Broadway this past Spring.

Along with Brady, the principal cast included singer Deborah Cox as Glinda and newcomer Nichelle Lewis as Dorothy. Lewis made her Broadway debut after being selected via a TikTok video.

It was fitting that Brady had castmates with him on stage for his farewell on June 12 as he spoke about his and the show’s journey.

Wayne told his final audience at The Wiz: ‘This is a moment’

After he performed for the final time in The Wiz, Brady walked to the front of the stage with castmates to the sides and behind him. He spoke about the significance of performing this story, an all-Black retelling of The Wizard of Oz, with such talented actors.

“I want to say thank you to this cast. Rarely do you get a chance in your life, and I’m lucky y’all – I’ve been in this business more than a minute and done a lot of stuff, but I’ve gotta say, rarely have I had a chance to stand on stage and to be one of many and to feel so complete,” he said.

“To look to my left and to my right and see beautiful Black gorgeous talent staring me back in my face, and I’m so grateful,” Brady said.

“Thank you for being part of this moment because this is a moment. Soak this in,” he said, adding, “Look at these people. This is a moment.”

Brady also thanked everyone for allowing him to do “the thing” he “loved.”

“The 16-year-old Wayne who always wanted to do this revels in this every single night,” he said.

The actor, comedian, and game show host said he’d “remember the friendships [he] made and getting to come out every night and do this.”

“Broadway, this is it. This is it right here. For you sports fans, this is the NFL!” Brady said before adding, “So I’m gonna shut up before I start to cry too much.”

He got choked up as he said, “Thank you for making me look good in front of my daughter. I love y’all. Thank you.”

The Wiz performances will continue on Broadway

Although Wayne Brady no longer performs in The Wiz on Broadway, that doesn’t mean the show is over. Another actor will take over the titular role as The Wiz.

Last month, New York Theatre Guide reported that Alan Mingo Jr. would replace Brady after his June 12 performance.

Mingo Jr. isn’t new to the show as he appeared in the pre-Broadway tour that began last year and in the show’s ensemble.

In a statement, Mingo Jr. said: “I’m thrilled to return to playing The Wiz. My mother took me to see this musical when I was a child, and there aren’t many shows you can say that about.”

An Instagram clip highlighting his recent return to the show arrived on Thursday.

Tickets and additional details for upcoming performances of The Wiz are available at WizMusical.com. Shows continue until Sunday, August 18.

For those who want more of Brady as The Wiz, a soundtrack with music recorded by the cast, including Brady, was officially released on Friday on streaming platforms including YouTube, Apple Music, and Spotify.

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