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Photo Coverage: CHICAGO Celebrates Becoming the Longest-Running American Musical

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On Saturday, August 27, 2011, the internationally acclaimed revival of John Kander, Fred Ebb and Bob Fosse's Tony Award-winning musical CHICAGO celebrated another major milestone when it became the longest-running American musical in Broadway history, surpassing A Chorus Line with a total of 6,138 performances. Check out photos from the celebration below!

As of Saturday, August 27, the top-five longest-running productions of all time are as follows:

1. The Phantom of the Opera (9,810)
2. Cats (7,485)
3. Les Miserables (6,680)
4. Chicago (6,138)
5. A Chorus Line (6,137)

(Broadway's top three longest-running shows -- The Phantom of the Opera, Cats and Les Miserables -- are all British imports.)

The revival of CHICAGO began its journey to becoming an international, billion-dollar stage success in the summer of 1996.

After its celebrated rediscovery at City Center Encores!, the production opened to rave reviews on Broadway at the Richard Rodgers Theatre on November 14, 1996, with a phenomenal cast headlined by Tony Award winner Ann Reinking as Roxie Hart, Tony Award winner Bebe Neuwirth as Velma Kelly, Tony Award winner James Naughton as Billy Flynn, Tony Award winner Joel Grey as Amos Hart and Tony Award nominee Marcia Lewis as Matron "Mama" Morton.

CHICAGO then transferred to the Shubert Theatre on February 11, 1997. Nearly six years later, on January 29, 2003, it transferred a second time to its current Broadway home, the Ambassador Theatre (219 W. 49th St.).

The Broadway production currently stars two-time Tony Award nominee Charlotte d'Amboise as Roxie Hart, Nikka Graff Lanzarone as Velma Kelly, two-time Tony Award nominee Christopher Sieber as Billy Flynn, Chris Sullivan as Amos Hart and Carol Woods as Matron "Mama" Morton.

As previously announced, former "American Idol" judge Kara DioGuardi will make her Broadway debut as Roxie Hart in an eight-week engagement beginning Monday, September 5.

DioGuardi will be joined by longtime CHICAGO veteran and fan-favorite Amra-Faye Wright as Velma Kelly. (Nikka Graff Lanzarone plays her final performance on Sunday, September 4.)

With a legendary book by Fred Ebb and Bob Fosse, music by John Kander and lyrics by Fred Ebb, 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.

Visit www.ChicagoTheMusical.com for more information.

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At a young age Monica Simoes became a fan of the stage forever. She always dreamt of being a part of theatrical magic. However, those dreams seemed thwarted by her inability to carry a note and her two left feet. Yet, that minor speed bump didn't stop her. She has melded her passion for theatre and her photographic skill to capture the essence of Broadway. Monica is currently a student at Parsons the New School for Design. She hopes to continue enjoying all that Broadway has to offer through the viewfinder of her camera.


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