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Bebe Neuwirth Plays Final Performance in Broadway's CHICAGO this Weekend; Roz Ryan Will Return, 3/10

Bebe Neuwirth Plays Final Performance in Broadway's CHICAGO this Weekend; Roz Ryan Will Return, 3/10

This week, two-time Tony and Emmy Award winner Bebe Neuwirth will play her final eight performances as Matron "Mama" Morton in Broadway's record-breaking smash-hit musical Chicago at the Ambassador Theatre (219 W. 49th St.) Neuwirth, who won a 1997 Tony Award for her acclaimed portrayal of jazz-age killer Velma Kelly and returned ten years later as merry murderess Roxie Hart, concludes her history-making eight-week engagement as Matron "Mama" Morton -- her third starring role in the production's 18-year run -- on Sunday, March 9. Beginning Monday, March 10, one of the Chicago family's most celebrated performers, stage and screen veteran Roz Ryan, returns to the role of Matron "Mama" Morton.

Last October, Ms. Ryan made Broadway history, breaking a longtime Chicago company record with the most performances played of any leading actress in the show's 18-year run.

In the role of Matron "Mama" Morton, Ryan made her debut performance with the Broadway company of Chicago in January 1999. Since then, she has returned to reprise the role in the Broadway company every year. Her upcoming return on Monday, March 10 marks her 16th consecutive year with the show.

On Broadway, Chicago currently stars Dylis Croman as Roxie Hart (in for a vacationing Bianca Marroquin), Amra-Faye Wright as Velma Kelly, Olivier Award nominee Brent Barrett as Billy Flynn and Tony Award nominee Christopher Fitzgerald as Amos Hart. As previously announced, two-time Olympic medalist and world-class figure skater Elvis Stojko will make his Broadway stage debut as Billy Flynn for one week only, March 17-23. At the conclusion of his Broadway engagement, Stojko will join the company of Chicago's North American tour for its Toronto engagement, March 26-30 at the Prince of Wales Theatre.

With a legendary book by Fred Ebb and Bob Fosse, music by John Kander and lyrics by Fred Ebb, Chicago is now the #1 longest-running American musical in Broadway history -- and it still shows no sign of ever slowing down!

Produced by Barry and Fran Weissler, Chicago is the winner of six 1997 Tony Awards including Best Musical Revival and the Grammy Award for Best Musical Cast Recording.

Set amidst the razzle-dazzle decadence of the 1920s, Chicago is the story of Roxie Hart, a housewife and nightclub dancer who murders her on-the-side lover after he threatens to walk out on her. Desperate to avoid conviction, she dupes the public, the media and her rival cellmate, Velma Kelly, by hiring Chicago's slickest criminal lawyer to transform her malicious crime into a barrage of sensational headlines, the likes of which might just as easily be ripped from today's tabloids.

Directed by Tony Award winner Walter Bobbie and choreographed by Tony Award winner Ann Reinking, Chicago features set design by John Lee Beatty, costume design by Tony Award winner William Ivey Long, lighting design by Tony Award winner Ken Billington and sound design by Scott Lehrer.

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Photo by Walter McBride

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