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Ariana Madix, From SUR to Stage: How 'Vanderpump Rules' Was Just a Detour for CHICAGO's New Roxie

Madix is now starring in Chicago on Broadway through April 7.

By: Feb. 15, 2024
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Affairs, lies, and a scandal that shocked the nation. 

There might be more overlap than you think in Chicago the musical and Bravo's Vanderpump Rules – both of which currently star Ariana Madix.

In 2023, Madix found herself at the center of the "Scandoval," uncovering that her boyfriend of 10 years was having a months-long affair with her best friend. As the fallout played out on Vanderpump Rules, the hit reality show became the most-watched cable series that summer.

The general public rallied behind Madix, which also came with series of high-profile brand deals and a run to the finals on Dancing With the Stars. Now, the breakout star has landed on Broadway, which has seemingly always been her goal.

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Madix and Max von Essen in Chicago

Chicago is no stranger to successfully casting "Bravo-lebrities" in its landmark Broadway production. The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills stars Lisa Rinna and Erika Jayne have both had stints as Roxie Hart in the past and The Real Housewives of Atlanta alums NeNe Leakes and Kandi Burruss have both taken on the role of Matron 'Mama' Morton.

As Madix takes on the coveted musical role, she reveals that she wouldn't have found her way onto Vanderpump Rules if it weren't for her Broadway dreams.

"Being on Broadway ... it was the reason for everything," Madix said to BroadwayWorld. "It was the reason why I moved [to New York City] years ago. It was the reason why I learned how to bartend, as a survival job. It was the reason why I moved to LA, because I needed to have a solid resume to be considered viable for anything on Broadway."

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Ariana Madix on her opening night in Chicago with Lala Kent and Scheana Shay

Growing up in Florida, Madix won two national dance championships before majoring in musical theatre at Flagler College. Following stints as Ariel and Cinderella in DisneyWorld, she moved to New York City.

After moving to LA to pursue film and television roles, she began bartending at Lisa Vanderpump's SUR and Villa Blanca, which landed her on the reality series.

"The bartending is what brought me to the world that I have been in for the last 10 years and then ultimately is what brought me back here."

The full circle moment comes as Vanderpump Rules returns for a new season on Bravo, picking up on the continued fallout of the Scandoval. As her Broadway debut coincided with the season 10 premiere, sell-out audiences for Madix gave Chicago its highest grossing non-holiday performance week in the show's 26-year history.

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Madix and Tom Schwartz in the new season of Vanderpump Rules

As Bravo-holics pack the house for Chicago's new Roxie, Madix hopes that it gets first-time Broadway consumers hooked.

"I hope that it's not their last," she concludes. "I hope that they see the show, they see Chicago, and they say, 'I want to see more. I want to be more into this world because there's so many amazing shows."

While the turbulent new season airs on Bravo, Madix is keeping herself busy doing eight-shows-a-week in Chicago. The Chicago curtain rises every Tuesday night as new episodes of Vanderpump Rules premiere on Bravo.

Extended through April 7, the name on everybody's lips is gonna be "Ariana."

Watch a preview of this season of Vanderpump Rules here: