Chicago: Leigh Zimmerman to play Velma Kelly

Beginning 8 Oct 2010, the Broadway musical Chicago will welcome back original cast member Leigh Zimmerman in the starring role of merry murderess 'Velma Kelly' - a role she will play through to 27 Feb 2011.

Zimmerman originated the role of 'Go-To-Hell Kitty' in 1996, when the revival of Chicagofirst opened on Broadway. She then went on to play 'Velma Kelly' in London's West End in 2001 and 2009.

She made her Broadway debut in the original company of 'The Will Rogers Follies' and went on to play 'Ziegfeld's Favorite' in the production's national tour. Her other Broadway credits include 'Elaine' in 'Crazy for You' and 'Panacea' in revival of 'A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum.'

Her other London stage credits include 'The Seven Year Itch,' 'Contact (The Girl in the Yellow Dress),' 'Three on a Couch' and 'The Producers' - the latter of which earned a 2004 Olivier Award nomination for Best Leading Actress for her performance as 'Ulla.'

Zimmerman made her feature film debut with Macaulay Culkin in "Home Alone 2: Lost in New York." Her other film credits include "Proof" with Gwyneth Paltrow and Anthony Hopkins, "Red Light Runners" with Harvey Keitel, "The Defender" with Dolf Lundgren, "United 93" and the upcoming "W.E.", directed by Madonna.

Chicago currently stars Amra-Faye Wright (Velma Kelly), Charlotte d'Amboise (Roxie), John O'Hurley (Billy Flynn), Roz Ryan (Mama Morton), Carol Woods (Mama Morton), Raymond 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 3 Jul 2011.

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.

Leigh Zimmerman

Originally published on

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