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CHICAGO to Become Longest-Running American Musical, 8/27

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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 will celebrate another major milestone when it becomes the longest-running American musical in Broadway history, surpassing A Chorus Line with a total of 6,138 performances.

That August 27 matinee performance also makes CHICAGO the fourth-longest running show in Broadway history.

"What a momentus occasion this is!" said producer Barry Weissler. "Of course we're thrilled to take the number four position in the list of long-runners, but to also celebrate the fact that CHICAGO is now the longest-running American musical in Broadway history makes it all the more spectacular. And just as Velma Kelly sings, we couldn't have done it alone. This milestone would never have happened without the amazing group of people who've lent their talents and expertise to our production over the past 15 years -- the phenomenal cast, crew, production team, stage managers, advertising and marketing executives, business managers, casting directors, ushers, musicians, dance captains...and the list goes on. And of course, our incredible and enthusiastic audiences. Over five million people have seen CHICAGO on Broadway to-date, and they just keep coming. It's truly a phenomenon worth celebrating."

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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