Chicago: Ashlee Simpson-Wentz makes her B'dway debut
As previously announced, multi-platinum recording artist Ashlee Simpson-Wentz will make her Broadway stage debut as she reprises the role of 'Roxie Hart' in the Tony Award-winning musical Chicago for a ten-week limited engagement from 30 Nov 2009 through to 7 Feb 2010.
Simpson-Wentz assumes the role from Bonnie Langford who will play her final performance on 29 Nov 2009.
Simpson-Wentz first took on 'Roxie Hart' in 2006 when she played the role to in London's West End production of Chicago, and later that year participated in the special one-night-only 10th anniversary benefit performance at the Ambassador Theatre.
"I'm honored to be reprising my role as 'Roxie Hart,' returning to the stage and joining this amazing cast," said Simpson-Wentz. "Being on Broadway is a childhood dream come true."
Simpson-Wentz came to fame when she starred as 'Cecilia Smith 'in WB's "7th Heaven' from 2002 - 2004. In 2004 she appeared in her own show "The Ashlee Simpson Show" on MTV, which went on to become the number one show in its primetime slot.
In 2004 Simpson-Wentz recorded her first album 'Autobiography' (3x platinum), followed by her second platinum album 'I Am Me' in 2005. Her third album, 'Bittersweet World' was released in 2008.
In 2006, Simpson-Wentz made her film debut as a supporting actress alongside Kip Pardue and Carrie Fisher in the Lionsgate ensemble film 'Undiscovered,' about a group of Los Angeles actors and musicians struggling to make it big. In the fall of 2009, she began starring in the CW's remake of 'Melrose Place,' as 'Violet Foster.'
30 Nov 2009 is also the day that Roz Ryan returns as 'Mama Morton,' replacing Kecia Lewis-Evans who played her final performance on 29 Nov 2009.
This will be Ryan's seventh appearance as Matron "Mama" Morton, a role she first played in 2002. Ryan's other Broadway credits include: 'Ain't Misbehavin' (1978), 'Dreamgirls' (1981), 'One Mo' Time' (2002) and 'The Pajama Game' (2006 revival).
Chicago now stars Deidre Goodwin (Velma Kelly), Ashlee Simpson-Wentz (Roxie Hart), Brent Barrett (Billy Flynn), Roz Ryan (Mama Morton), Ray Bokhour (Amos Hart) and R. Lowe (Mary Sunshine).
Now celebrating thirteen 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 period through to 4 Jul 2010.
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 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 Broadway's longest-running musical revival.
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