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Who was the best Roxie Hart?

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StardustsChild
Understudy
joined:9/6/18
Understudy | Joined: 9/6/18

Who was the best Roxie Hart?

#1
Posted: 2/14/21 at 6:21pm
In celebration of the 1997 Cinderella coming to streaming this week, I watched Brandy's turn as Roxie in Chicago, and was pleasantly surprised by how fresh and fun her choices were - she owned Roxie in a way a lot of the stunt casts haven't. What other Roxie's stand out to you as particularly marvelous? (of course Gwen and Annie are a league all their own).

Video of Brandy if you have never seen her interpretation - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6lz3fo9A0aY
"Life is already so dark. If you have got the talent to make it brighter and bring people hope & joy, why would you withhold that?"
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Patti LuPone FANatic
Broadway Legend
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Who was the best Roxie Hart?

#2
Posted: 2/14/21 at 7:29pm

I have seen Dylis Croman, Bianca Marroquin, Charlotte D'Amboise and Brandy as Roxie Hart (on Broadway and on tour).  When I saw D'Amboise, I saw a fantastic Fosse artist in top form.  With her vast Roxie experience, she is able to make it her own.  I was in awe sitting in the first row.  Oh wait, I forgot someone.  Michelle DeJean.  See this video (from a 2007 national tour stop)   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kPtdfojnTb4   This is so fabulous.

"Noel [Coward] and I were in Paris once. Adjoining rooms, of course. One night, I felt mischievous, so I knocked on Noel's door, and he asked, 'Who is it?' I lowered my voice and said 'Hotel detective. Have you got a gentleman in your room?' He answered, 'Just a minute, I'll ask him.'" (Beatrice Lillie)
Updated On: 2/14/21 at 07:29 PM
Phantom4ever
Broadway Legend
joined:9/17/07
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Who was the best Roxie Hart?

#3
Posted: 2/14/21 at 7:58pm

I'm always the most entertained by Bianca Marroquin, with Charlotte D'Amboise being a close second. 

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greensgreens
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joined:10/14/09
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Who was the best Roxie Hart?

#4
Posted: 2/14/21 at 8:48pm

Liza Minnelli

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blaxx
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Who was the best Roxie Hart?

#5
Posted: 2/14/21 at 11:11pm
Bianca Marroquín is the best Roxie.
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NOWaWarning
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joined:2/1/16
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Who was the best Roxie Hart?

#6
Posted: 2/14/21 at 11:25pm
I’ve seen Bianca and she was incredible. She was hilarious and had the audience in the palm of her hand. She also sang and danced the crap out of the role.

I also saw Robyn Hurder go on as an understudy and thought she was perfect, like the role had been written for her. I’d love to see her play the role full time.
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ACL2006
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Who was the best Roxie Hart?

#7
Posted: 2/15/21 at 10:02am

I've seen the show about a dozen times on Broadway and on tour.

 

1. Charlotte d'Amboise

2. Bianca Marroquin

3. Karen Ziemba

4. Dylis Croman

5. Paige Davis

6. Bebe Neuwirth

7. Amy Spanger

8. Tracy Shayne

9. Nancy Hess

 

A Chorus Line revival played its final Broadway performance on August 17, 2008. The tour played its final performance on August 21, 2011. A new non-equity tour started in October 2012 played its final performance on March 23, 2013. Another non-equity tour launched on January 20, 2018. The tour ended its US run in Kansas City and then toured throughout Japan August & September 2018.
fosterfan2
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Who was the best Roxie Hart?

#8
Posted: 2/15/21 at 10:42am

I thought Sandy Duncan was really good. Very funny. Ann Reinking was really funny,too.

ghostlight2
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joined:12/5/04
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Who was the best Roxie Hart?

#9
Posted: 2/15/21 at 10:51am

ACL2006 said: "I've seen the show about a dozen times on Broadway and on tour.



1. Charlotte d'Amboise

2. Bianca Marroquin

3. Karen Ziemba

4. Dylis Croman

5. Paige Davis

6. Bebe Neuwirth

7. Amy Spanger

8. Tracy Shayne

9. Nancy Hess
"

I've seen all of ACL2006's Roxy roster except Bianca, Tracy, and Paige. All were excellent. Enjoyed Ann Reinking and Sandy Duncan, Sandy was a bit of a ham :)

 

BCfitasafiddle
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joined:1/25/20
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Who was the best Roxie Hart?

#10
Posted: 2/15/21 at 12:24pm

Honestly, I loved Brandy. Wouldn't call her the best, but boy she exceeded my expectations.

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ACL2006
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Who was the best Roxie Hart?

#11
Posted: 2/15/21 at 2:22pm
Ziemba was my first Roxie and I feel in love with the show. Ran back to the Shubert to see it again to get stuck with Nancy Hess as Roxie and it was a complete disappointment. I later saw A Chorus Line at Papermill in 2000? I think and Hess was Cassie. I never cringed so hard at an actress playing the role. I was baffled to read her bio in the program to see her credentials and how many shows she had done. Two of the worst performances I've ever seen on a professional stage.
A Chorus Line revival played its final Broadway performance on August 17, 2008. The tour played its final performance on August 21, 2011. A new non-equity tour started in October 2012 played its final performance on March 23, 2013. Another non-equity tour launched on January 20, 2018. The tour ended its US run in Kansas City and then toured throughout Japan August & September 2018.
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BenjaminNicholas2
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joined:3/6/09
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Who was the best Roxie Hart?

#12
Posted: 2/15/21 at 3:20pm
Based on some of these responses, we have some kiddos here.

Sandy Duncan and Ruthie Henshall are my favorites.
DAME
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Who was the best Roxie Hart?

#13
Posted: 2/15/21 at 5:25pm

Charlotte is my all time favorite. I first saw her with what has to be for me the worst Velma ever; Jasmine Guy.

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Updated On: 2/15/21 at 05:25 PM
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Robbie2
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Who was the best Roxie Hart?

#14
Posted: 2/15/21 at 7:57pm

Who was the best Roxie Hart?

Ann Reinking then Charlotte d'Amboise

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Jarethan
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Who was the best Roxie Hart?

#15
Posted: 2/15/21 at 10:55pm

There is no question in my mind who the best Roxie was: Gwen Verdon.  No one came close to her.  Hell, one could argue that Reinking mimicked her shamelessly, particularly in the original production (Reinking was Roxie when the original show closed.

It was exciting to be in the audience when Liza was in the show.  She was as game as could be, her voice was terrific, and the audience loved her; but Chicago is first and foremost a dance show and Liza was not in Verdon's or Reinking's league.  Seen a lot of other Roxies, but none came close to Verdon.

If you had asked about the best Velma, I would have talked about how great Chita Rivera was, but I actually thought that Bebe Neuwirth was even better.  For me, it was one of the great female performances on the musical stage (probably Top 10 for me).

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everythingtaboo
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Who was the best Roxie Hart?

#16
Posted: 2/16/21 at 12:25pm

I've seen the show dozens of times in various cities, and the ones that impressed me the most overall, in no particular order:

1. Charlotte D'Amboise

2. Bianca Marroquin

3. Marilu Henner

4. Melanie Griffith (not the best danced or sang, but she acted the hell out of it)

5. Bonnie Langford

6. Dylis Croman

7. Bebe Neuwirth

8. Jennifer Nettles

9. Chita Rivera

10. Karen Ziemba



"Hey little girls, look at all the men in shiny shirts and no wives!" - Jackie Hoffman, Xanadu, 19 Feb 2008
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Who was the best Roxie Hart?

#17
Posted: 2/16/21 at 12:36pm
Did anybody see Bebe in all three leads? I missed her Roxie but she never rubbed me as a logical choice for that role. Curious how she was
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broadway86
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Who was the best Roxie Hart?

#18
Posted: 2/16/21 at 2:17pm

Got to see Sandy Duncan, Karen Ziemba, and Bianca Marroquin. All were fabulous, but I'd probably rank them as such: Marroquin, Ziemba, Duncan.

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ACL2006
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Who was the best Roxie Hart?

#19
Posted: 2/16/21 at 2:23pm
Bebe was fine as Roxie but just seemed like she was trying to keep up. Her aged showed, didn't have the vocals for it but her comic timing was perfect. Her returning as Mama was questionable. I get her love for the show, but based on a few videos I saw, she really wasn't right for the role.
A Chorus Line revival played its final Broadway performance on August 17, 2008. The tour played its final performance on August 21, 2011. A new non-equity tour started in October 2012 played its final performance on March 23, 2013. Another non-equity tour launched on January 20, 2018. The tour ended its US run in Kansas City and then toured throughout Japan August & September 2018.
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broadwaybabywannabe2
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Who was the best Roxie Hart?

#20
Posted: 2/17/21 at 3:30pm

greensgreens said: "Liza Minnelli"

AGREED 100%...i saw Liza in CHICAGO IN 1975 when she subbed for Gwen Verdon who was injured at the time...it was electric...i was such a LIZA fan since The Sterile Cucko, and of course Caberet...she was still in great form as a dancer doing Fosse,  and her voice was thrilling...

ghostlight2
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Who was the best Roxie Hart?

#21
Posted: 2/18/21 at 3:46am

DAME said: "Charlotte is my all time favorite. I first saw her with what has to be for me the worst Velma ever; Jasmine Guy."

I loved Jasmine. Not a dancer, really, but moved well enough, and had great comic timing.

I saw Bebe as Velma, Roxy and Mama. A great Velma, totally worth seeing as the other two, even though she wasn't right for either. Marcia Lewis will always be Mama to me.

When You're Good to Mama

Jarethan
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Who was the best Roxie Hart?

#22
Posted: 2/19/21 at 11:29am

To me, Marcia Lewis was a very close second to Mary McCarty, who was just perfect in the role.  Both were memorable.

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BrodyFosse123
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Who was the best Roxie Hart?

#23
Posted: 2/19/21 at 12:34pm

broadwaybabywannabe2 said: "greensgreens said: "Liza Minnelli"

AGREED 100%...i saw Liza in CHICAGO IN 1975 when she subbed for Gwen Verdon who was injured at the time...it was electric...i was such a LIZA fan since The Sterile Cucko, and of course Caberet...she was still in great form as a dancer doing Fosse, and her voice was thrilling...
"

Gwen wasn’t insured.  She had to have surgery on her vocal cords so Liza stepped in while she recouperated.  That’s why Liza had time to be prepped and ready in advance.  She didn’t just jump in with no rehearsal - the surgery was scheduled around Liza’s availability.

Here’s Bob Fosse (with Chita Rivera) rehearsing Liza on the 46th Street Theatre stage. 

Who was the best Roxie Hart?
 

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Who was the best Roxie Hart?

#24
Posted: 2/20/21 at 4:13pm

Ann Reinking was probably the best all around package of the Roxies I've seen in the current revival.

Charlotte d'Amboise is always going to offer up a solid Roxie with probably the best dancing behind Ann.

Sandy Duncan was absolutely delightful in the role and I would say was having the most fun of the various actresses I've seen take it on. I remember her Roxie had a very giddy delight to it that made her eventual fear of the trial and potential aftermath all the more sharp. She played very well with Mamie Duncan-Gibbs as her Velma (I don't remember who was full-time Velma when I saw it, but Mamie was the understudy at the time and went on the night I saw Sandy).

Melora Hardin is the last Roxie I saw (shows how long it's been since I've been to the Ambassador). She did quite well, nailing the acting and singing and holding her own in the choreography department (I think she did what would be the mid-level choreography version)

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MCW1227
Understudy
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Who was the best Roxie Hart?

#25
Posted: 2/20/21 at 8:47pm

Jarethan said: "There is no question in my mind who the best Roxie was: Gwen Verdon. No one came close to her. Hell, one could argue that Reinking mimickedher shamelessly, particularly in the original production (Reinking was Roxie when the original show closed.

It was exciting to be in the audience when Liza was in the show. She was as game as could be, her voice was terrific, and the audience loved her; but Chicago is first and foremost a dance show and Liza was not in Verdon's or Reinking's league. Seen a lot of other Roxies, but none came close to Verdon.

If you had asked about the best Velma, I would have talked about how great Chita Rivera was, but I actually thought that Bebe Neuwirth was even better. For me, it was one of the great female performances on the musical stage (probably Top 10 for me).
"

This was my very first Broadway show and I had the pleasure of seeing the original cast! Gwen will always be Roxie and Chita is Velma for me! 

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