Chicago Revival Celebrates 25 Years on Broadway November 16

Broadway News   Chicago Revival Celebrates 25 Years on Broadway November 16
 
The Tony-winning revival currently stars Ana Villafañe, Bianca Marroquín, Lillias White, and Paulo Szot.
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Ana Villafañe, Bianca Marroquín, and company in Chicago Julieta Cervantes

The long-running, Tony-winning Broadway revival of Chicago celebrates its 25th anniversary on Broadway with a special performance November 16 at 6:30 PM ET at the Ambassador Theatre. The production, which reopened September 14 following its temporary closure due to the coronavirus pandemic, originally opened November 14, 1996.

The celebration begins at 5 PM on the TKTS Red Steps in Times Square, where the Brooklyn United Marching Band will kick off a march to 49th Street (home of the Ambassador Theatre) playing the songs of Chicago's John Kander and Fred Ebb. The Ambassador will be lit in red with a red carpet.

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Ann Reinking and Bebe Neuwirth Dan Chavkin

Chicago will receive a Mayoral Proclamation and will welcome appearances by original revival cast members—Joel Grey, James Naughton, and Bebe Neuwirth—and will also feature a tribute to the late Ann Reinking, who choreographed the revival and also created the role of Roxie Hart.

Celebrate the Chicago Revival’s 25th Anniversary With a Look Back at Its Original Cast

Leading the current 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.

READ: Two-Bit Johnnies and Sophie Tucker: A Chicago Glossary

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 14, 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). Over the last 25 years, the show has been seen in 36 different countries by 33 million people worldwide.

READ: How the Chicago Costumes Have Evolved Over 25 Years

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 Neuwirth and Naughton, director Bobbie, lighting designer Billington, and Reinking. The original production was directed and choreographed by the late Bob Fosse.

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