Broadway's CHICAGO Celebrates 7,000th Performance Tonight
It's the #1 longest-running American musical in Broadway history. It's now in its 17th record-breaking year on the Great White Way. It's been seen in over 30 countries and in 12 different languages worldwide since 1996. It's currently playing to packed houses in cities across the country in its newly-launched 15th national touring production.
And tonight, September 24, the Tony Award-winning stage musical sensation Chicago will celebrate another extraordinary milestone with its 7,000th performance on Broadway!
This remarkable milestone-performance achievement has only occurred twice before in Broadway theatre history -- by Cats (which closed in its 18th year after 7,485 performances) and The Phantom of the Opera (now in its 26th year).
"What a joy it is to know that Chicago continues to make such an indelible mark in the annals of Broadway history," said producerBarry Weissler. "This upcoming 7,000th performance is yet another wonderful moment to celebrate the extraordinary impact that our show has made over the past 17 years. When I think of the countless people who've helped to make Chicago succeed so magnificently since 1996 -- actors, musicians, stage crew, ushers, box office attendants, managers, dance captains, casting directors, marketing and advertising teams -- I feel truly inspired and endlessly thankful for all of their amazing talents and contributions. And I look forward to continuing the journey for thousands more performances to come!"
One of the most popular musicals in Broadway history, the revival of Chicago
first began in May 1996 with a weekend presentation as part of City Center's acclaimed "Encores!" series.
At the time, that brief four-performance engagement of Chicago -- helmed by director Walter Bobbie and choreographer Ann Reinking -- became the top-grossing production in the history of the "Encores!" series.
Produced by Barry & Fran Weissler, Chicago then opened on Broadway at the Richard Rodgers Theatre on November 14, 1996. It transferred to the Shubert Theatre in February 1997, and played there through January 26, 2003. The revival reopened at its current home -- the Ambassador Theatre -- three days later on January 29, 2003.
With a legendary book by Fred Ebb and Bob Fosse, music by John Kander and lyrics by Fred Ebb, Chicago received six 1997 Tony Awards for Best Musical Revival, Best Direction of a Musical (Walter Bobbie), Best Choreography (Ann Reinking), Best Lighting Design (Ken Billington), Best Leading Actress in a Musical (Bebe Neuwirth) and Best Leading Actor in a Musical (James Naughton).
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.
CHICAGO now stars Latina superstar Bianca Marroquin (Mary Poppins, "Mira Quien Baila") as Roxie Hart, South Africa native and celebrated international leading lady Amra-Faye Wright as Velma Kelly, Ryan Silverman (The Phantom of the Opera, Passion) as Billy Flynn, Paul C. Vogt (Hairspray, The Little Mermaid) as Amos Hart, Roz Ryan (Scandalous, Dreamgirls) as Matron "Mama" Morton and R. Lowe as Mary Sunshine.
The Chicago ensemble includes Donna Marie Asbury, Nicole Bridgewater, Jennifer Dunne, Anne Horak, David Kent, J. Loeffelholz, Nathan Madden, Sharon Moore, Brian O'Brien, Denny Paschall, Stephanie Pope, Angel Reda, Jason Patrick Sands, Brian Spitulnik, Tonya Wathen, Amos Wolff, Ryan Worsing and Adam Zotovich.
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, sound design by Scott Lehrer, musical supervision by Rob Fisher and musical direction by Leslie Stifelman.