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Chicago to Serve Up Rocco DiSpirito's Bway Debut?

According to the New York Daily News, celebrity chef Rocco DiSpirito may be putting down his utensils for a Broadway run in Chicago.

"We hear the celeb chef has been huddling with producers Fran and Barry Weissler about joining the cast of Chicago. DiSpirito's rep confirms the talks, but says nothing's set," states the paper's "Daily Dish" column.

DiSpirito has authored several cookbooks, hosted a WOR radio talkshow and from 1997 to 2004, ran the Union Pacific restaurant in Gramercy Park.  He was the subject of the reality TV show "The Restaurant", which followed the opening of his and Jeffrey Chodorow's restaurant Rocco's 22nd Street (now known as Caviar and Banana). His TV credits include appearances on "Celebrity Poker Showdown," "The Tony Danza Show," "The View" and more.

Chicago currently stars Rita Wilson as Roxie Hart, Obba Babatunde as Billy Flynn, Branda Braxton as Velma, Kevin Chamberlin as Amos Hart, Lillias White as Matron "Mama" Morton, and R. Lowe as Mary Sunshine.  Bianca Marroquin joins the cast as Roxie on August 22nd, while R&B starUsher will begin performances as Billy that day.

Chicago, which opened at the Richard Rodgers Theatre on November 14th 1996, has reached a run of over 4,000 performances at the Ambassador Theatre (215 W. 49th St.); the show will celebrate its 10 year anniversary in November. Chicago received 6 1997 Tonys (including Best Revival of a Musical) under the direction of Walter Bobbie and the choreography of star Ann Reinking. The revival, based on Bobbie's stylistically stripped-down Encores! staging, featured direction and choreography by Bob Fosse in its original 1975 production. Chicago features a score by John Kander and Fred Ebb, and a book by Ebb and Bob Fosse.

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