*Newcomer Shanice Williams is about to ease on into the role of a lifetime.
The 18-year-old New Jersey native beat out hundreds of applicants from across the country to score the lead role of Dorothy in NBC’s “The Wiz Live!”
Williams, unveiled Wednesday morning on the “Today” show, says she never imagined she’d get the part, and had simply gone to the audition to learn the process of trying out for a role.
“When I went to the audition, it was more of a learning experience for me so I never imagined this would happen in a million years. I was just going to learn what an audition process is in New York City.”
Williams has big ruby slippers to fill – she’ll step into the role made famous by Stephanie Mills in the 1975 Broadway show and by Diana Ross in the 1978 movie — both based on the children’s classic, “The Wizard of Oz.”
Williams will spend the next few months rehearsing ahead of the live telecast on Dec. 3.
She says she has much admiration for her fellow cast members. The big names include Queen Latifah as the Wiz; Mary J. Blige as Evillene, the Wicked Witch of the West; David Alan Grier as the Lion; and Mills as Aunt Em.
“I’m excited to meet the cast and start working with them and learning from them.”
Watch her interview below: