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Valerie Simpson & Chaz Lamar Shepherd

Chicago welcomes Valerie Simpson & Chaz Lamar Shepherd back to Broadway

Valerie Simpson & Chaz Lamar Shepherd assume the roles of Matron 'Mama' Morton & Billy Flynn, respectively, in the Broadway production of Chicago on March 12, 2018.

Tom Millward
Tom Millward

The Broadway company of Kander & Ebb's Tony Award-winning musical Chicago welcomes legendary singer-songwriter Valerie Simpson to the role of Matron 'Mama' Morton at the Ambassador Theatre tonight. She assumes the role from Kandi Burruss, star of Bravo's "The Real Housewives of Atlanta," Grammy Award-winning singer/songwriter, and member of the 1990s girl group of Xscape, who played her final performance yesterday.

Ms. Simpson is part of the acclaimed music duo Ashford & Simpson with her late husband Nickolas Ashford, who were inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2002. Their hits include "Solid" and "Found a Cure" and they have also written a plethora of iconic songs such as "Ain't No Mountain High Enough," "Your Precious Love," "Ain't Nothing Like the Real Thing," and "You're All I Need to Get By." She previously made her Broadway debut in Al Green / Ashford & Simpson in 1976 and her songs have featured in the Broadway productions of An Evening with Diana Ross and Motown The Musical.

In addition, Chaz Lamar Shepherd also assumes the role of Billy Flynn from Tom Hewitt tonight. He previously made his Broadway debut as Harpo in the Broadway premiere of The Color Purple in 2007 and also played Curtis Taylor, Jr. in the 2009 National Tour of Dreamgirls.

The principal Broadway cast currently includes Bianca Marroquín (as Roxie Hart), Amra-Faye Wright (as Velma Kelly), Chaz Lamar Shepherd (as Billy Flynn), Evan Harrington (as Amos Hart), Valerie Simpson (as Matron 'Mama' Morton), and R. Lowe (as Mary Sunshine).

Directed by Walter Bobbie, with choreography by Ann Reinking, Chicago features a score by John Kander and Fred Ebb, with a book by Bob Fosse & Fred Ebb.

The Broadway revival of Chicago began previews at the Ambassador Theatre on October 23, 1996, officially opening on November 14.

Synopsis: " 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 such showtune classics as "All That Jazz", "Razzle Dazzle", and "Mr. Cellophane", among many others.

The creative team features scenic design by John Lee Beatty, costume design by William Ivey Long, lighting design by Ken Billington and sound design by Scott Lehrer.

Chicago is the winner of six 1997 Tony Awards including "Best Musical Revival," and the winner of the Grammy Award for "Best Musical Cast Recording."

Chicago Tickets are available now for performances through to September 30, 2018.

Originally published on

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