LISTEN: Hear a Recording of Bob Fosse Directing Liza Minnelli in the Original Broadway Production of CHICAGO

Minnelli played Roxie Hart on Broadway from August 8th through September 13, 1975.

By: Feb. 24, 2024
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Liza Minnelli took over for an ill Gwen Verdon in the original production of Chicago on Broadway, from August 8th through September 13, 1975. Now, an audio recording has been discovered of Fosse directing the legendary performer in the role of Roxie Hart.

Listen below!

According to the description, the recording was "recently discovered in the audio collection of Craig Jacobs, who was a replacement stage manager for CHICAGO from 1976 to 1977."

The cassette was marked by a handwritten label marked "CHICAGO – LIZA PUT-IN." The recording also features the voices of Chita Rivera as Velma Kelly and Jerry Orbach as Billy Flynn.

Minnelli's previous collaborations with Bob Fosse included the concert film Liza with a Z and the film version of Cabaret in 1972.

The original Broadway production of Chicago opened on June 3, 1975. The revival opened on Broadway on November 14, 1996. It is the longest-running show now playing on Broadway and the second longest-running Broadway show of all time. It is also currently on an international tour. It has previously played all over the world, with notable productions in London, Australia, Japan, France, and Canada.

Chicago features music by John Kander, lyrics by Fred Ebb, and book by Ebb and Bob Fosse. Fosse also directed and choreographed the original production, which starred Chita Rivera as Velma Kelly and his wife, Gwen Verdon as Roxie Hart.

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.