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Ryoko Yonekura to Take on 'Roxie' in Broadway's CHICAGO, 7/10

On Tuesday, July 10, 2012, the acclaimed record-breaking revival of the Tony Award-winning musical CHICAGO welcomes Japanese superstar Ryoko Yonekura in her Broadway stage debut as merry murderess Roxie Hart. She will play an exclusive one-week engagement through Sunday, July 15 at the Ambassador Theatre (219 W. 49th St.).

Ryoko Yonekura originated the role of Roxie Hart in the Japanese-language production of CHICAGO in 2008 and again in 2010.

Last year, she played Scarlet O'Hara in the Japanese stage adaptation of Gone With The Wind and won the acclaimed Kazuo Kikuta Drama Award. Her other theater credits include Motoko Haraguchi in Kurokawa no Techo.

Ms. Yonekura's films and television credits include Reiko Usagi in The Negotiator, Arisa Matsui (Samantha) in the Japanese version of "Bewitched," Matsuko Matsudaira in "Nasake no Onna", Itsuki Takamura in "Monster Parent" and more.

Ms. Yonekura will play six performances on Broadway:

Tuesday, July 10 at 8 p.m.
Wednesday, July 11 at 8 p.m.
Thursday, July 12 at 8 p.m.
Friday, July 13 at 8 p.m.
Saturday, July 14 at 8 p.m.
Sunday, July 15 at 7:30 p.m.

She will be joined by longtime CHICAGO veteran and audience favorite Amra-Faye Wright as Velma Kelly. Ms. Wright (who returns to the Broadway production on Tuesday, May 29) co-starred with Ms. Yonekura in the 2010 Japanese-language production of CHICAGO in Toyko and Hyogo, marking the first time in history that an actress had re-created her Broadway role in Japanese.

Following her Broadway debut, Ms. Yonekura will join Ms. Wright and the CHICAGO U.S. national touring company in Tokyo, August 30 through September 16 at the Akasaka Act Theatre.

On Broadway, CHICAGO currently stars Tracy Shayne as Roxie Hart (through Sunday, July 8), Tony Yazbeck as Billy Flynn, Raymond Bokhour as Amos Hart and Roz Ryan as Matron "Mama" Morton (through Sunday, June 3). Carol Woods returns as Matron "Mama" Morton beginning Monday, June 4.

With a legendary book by Fred Ebb and Bob Fosse, music by John Kander and lyrics by Fred Ebb, CHICAGO is now the #1 longest-running American musical in Broadway history -- and it still shows no sign of ever slowing down!

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.

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