Chicago: Amra-Faye Wright, Charlotte d'Amboise and Tom Wopat to join the cast
In February the Broadway musical Chicago will welcome two favorite leading ladies to headline the Broadway company. First, direct from the London and South Africa companies of Chicago, Amra-Faye Wright joins the Broadway cast as 'Velma Kelly' on 2 Feb 2009.
And on 13 Feb 2009, two-time Tony Award nominee Charlotte d'Amboise steps back into the role of Roxie Hart on Broadway, prior to headlining the upcoming engagement of the Chicago National Tour at Chicago's Ford Center for the Performing Arts (26 Feb - 8 Mar 2009).
She also took part in both the Broadway and London 10th Anniversary productions of Chicago.
Wright's other theatrical credits include 'Vi Moore' in 'Footloose' (UK Tour), 'Sandy' in 'Greas'e (Johannesburg Superbowl), 'Sheila' in 'A Chorus Line' (Civic Theatre, Johannesburg) and others. She has written and performed several one-woman shows, including 'It's Not Where I Start,' 'Drinks on Me' and 'Rouge Pulp.' Wright succeeds Tony nominee Brenda Braxton in the role of 'Velma Kelly.' Braxton plays her final performance on 1 Feb 2009.
Since then, she has played 'Roxie Hart' more than 2,000 times, on Broadway (1,250+ performances) and on various national tours (750+ performances) -- more than any other actress in the show's history.
Last year, d'Amboise was nominated for a Best Featured Actress Tony Award for her performance as 'Cassie' in the revival of 'A Chorus Line.' She received her first Tony Award nomination in 1989 for her performance in 'Jerome Robbins' Broadway.' (1989)
The daughter of choreographer 'Jacques d'Amboise,' her other Broadway credits include 'Sweet Charity' (Charity: 2005 revival) and 'Damn Yankees' (1994 revival) - both of which earned her a Fred Astaire Award, Contact (Wife - replacement: 2000)) Company (Kathy: 1995 revival), Carrie (Chris: 1988) 'Song and Dance' (Woman in Blue: 1985) and Cats (Cassandra replacement: 1982).
d'Amboise replaces Melora Hardin in the role of Roxie Hart. Hardin's seven-week limited engagement concludes on 12 Feb 2009.
Wopat returns to the Broadway company after starring in the current National Tour of Chicago. His other Broadway credits include 'A Catered Affair' (Tom, Tony nomination: 2008), 'Glengarry Glen Ross' (James Lingk: 2005 revival), '42nd Street' (Julian Marsh - replacement: 2001 revival), 'Annie Get Your Gun' (Frank Butler, Tony nomination: 1999 revival), 'Guys and Dolls' (Sky Masterson - replacement: 1992 revival), 'City of Angels,' (Stone: 1989) and 'I Love My Wife.' (Wally - replacement: 1977).
He has released successful albums with CBS, Capitol and Angel Records; has toured throughout the U.S. and Europe; and recently performed in a Carnegie Hall tribute to Harold Arlen. Wopat's CD tribute to Harold Arlen, 'Dissertation on the State of Bliss,' is now available.
In the role of Flynn, Wopat follows Tony nominee Tom Hewitt, who plays his final performance on 15 Feb 2009.
Now celebrating twelve years on the Great White Way, Chicago is the second longest-running production currently playing on Broadway, as well as Broadway's longest-running musical revival.
The show has been playing on Broadway since 14 Nov 1996, it moved to the Ambassador Theatre on the 29 Jan 2003 where it is currently booking through to 28 Jun 2009.
Chicago follows not your usual housewife, Roxie Hart, who gains dubious notoriety when she kills her boyfriend, invents her defence and manipulates everyone from her trustworthy husband to the fickle media and the unsuspecting public. The show features the well known songs, 'All That Jazz,' 'Razzle Dazzle' and 'Mr. Cellophane'.
Chicago currently stars Brenda Braxton (Velma Kelly), Melora Hardin (Roxie Hart), Tom Hewitt (Billy Flynn), Carol Woods(Matron 'Mama' Morton), Scott Davidson (Amos Hart) and R. Lowe (Mary Sunshine).
Chicago has music by John Kander, Lyrics by Fred Ebb, Book by Bob Fosse & Fred Ebb.
The musical is directed by Walter Bobbie, with choreography by Ann Reinking, scene design by John Lee Beatty, costumes by William Ivey Long, lighting by Ken Billington and sound by Scott Lehrer.
Chicago is the winner of six 1997 Tony Awards including Best Musical Revival and the Grammy Award for Best Musical Cast Recording. It is the eighth longest-running production in Broadway history, as well as BroadwayÃ¯Â¿Â½s longest-running musical revival.
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