The long-running, Tony-winning Broadway revival of Chicago resumed performances at the Ambassador Theatre September 14 following its temporary closure due to the coronavirus pandemic. Ahead of the show, director Walter Bobbie welcomed audiences back to the production's home after the 18-month hiatus.
Several other Broadway productions returned September 14 as well, including Hamilton, The Lion King, and Wicked; Ruben Santiago-Hudson's Lackawanna Blues also began its limited Main Stem engagement at the Friedman.
The revival of Chicago began life as one of the three annual Encores! presentations offered by City Center. The musical opened on Broadway at the Richard Rodgers Theatre in November 1996, where it remained through February 1997. The musical transferred to the Shubert Theatre, and played that house through January 26, 2003. The revival reopened at the Ambassador Theatre January 29 that year. It is now the second-longest running show in Broadway history (after The Phantom of the Opera).
Leading the cast of Chicago are Ana Villafañe (On Your Feet!) as Roxie Hart, Bianca Marroquín (a longtime Roxie in the revival) as Velma Kelly, Tony winner Paulo Szot (South Pacific) as Billy Flynn, Tony winner Lillias White (The Life) as Matron Mama Morton, Raymond Bokhour as Amos Hart, and Ryan Lowe as Mary Sunshine.
The ensemble includes David Bushman, Jennifer Dunne, Jessica Ernest, Jeff Gorti, Arian Keddell, Mary Claire King, Barrett Martin, Sharon Moore, Drew Nellessen, Celina Nightengale, Brian O'Brien, Denny Paschall, Angel Reda, Jermaine R. Rembert, Michael Scirrotto, Christine C. Smith, and Brian Spitulnik.
With a book by the late Fred Ebb and Bob Fosse, music by John Kander, and lyrics by Ebb, Chicago features direction by Walter Bobbie, choreography by the late Ann Reinking, set design by John Lee Beatty, costume design by William Ivey Long, lighting design Ken Billington, sound design by Scott Lehrer, and casting by Stewart/Whitley.
The current production, produced by Barry and Fran Weissler, won the Tony Award for Best Revival of a Musical in 1997 as well as awards for actors Bebe Neuwirth and James Naughton, director Bobbie, lighting designer Billington, and Reinking. The original production was directed and choreographed by the late Bob Fosse.