Broadway's CHICAGO Celebrates 7,000th Performance Tonight

By: Sep. 24, 2013
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It's the No. 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).

Directed by Walter Bobbie, choreographed by Ann Reinking and produced by Barry & Fran Weissler, CHICAGO 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.

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