On Tuesday, January 12, 2010, the internationally acclaimed revival of John Kander, Fred Ebb and Bob Fosse's Tony Award-winning musical CHICAGO reached yet another major milestone when it becomes the sixth-longest running production in Broadway history, surpassing Beauty and the Beast with a total of 5,462 performances!
As of that date, the top ten longest-running Broadway productions will be as follows (* indicates the production is still running):
1. * The Phantom of the Opera (9,133)
2. Cats (7,485)
3. Les Miserables (6,680)
4. A Chorus Line (6,137)
5. Oh! Calcutta (5,959)
6. * CHICAGO (5,462)
7. Beauty and the Beast (5,461)
8. Rent (5,124)
9. * The Lion King (5,078)
10. Miss Saigon (4,097)
The revival of CHICAGO began its journey to becoming an international, billion-dollar stage success in the summer of 1996. After its celebrated rediscovery at City Center Encores!, the production opened to rave reviews on Broadway at theRichard Rodgers Theatre on November 14, 1996, with a phenomenal cast headlined by Ann Reinking as Roxie Hart, Tony Award winner Bebe Neuwirth as Velma Kelly, Tony Award winner James Naughton as Billy Flynn and Joey Grey as Amos Hart.
CHICAGO then transferred to the Shubert Theatre on February 11, 1997. Nearly six years later, on January 29, 2003, it transferred a second time to its current Broadway home, the Ambassador Theatre (219 W. 49th St.).
The Broadway production now stars Ashlee Simpson-Wentz as Roxie Hart, Deidre Goodwin as Velma Kelly, Brent Barrett as Billy Flynn, Raymond Bokhour as Amos Hart and Roz Ryan as Matron "Mama" Morton. As previously announced, Grammy Award winner Michelle Williams will take over the role of Roxie Hart for a seven-week engagement beginning Monday, February 8.
In addition to Broadway, CHICAGO is currently enjoying a successful tour throughout North America, with upcoming engagements set for Seattle, Sacramento, Memphis, Cleveland, Los Angeles and many more.
Produced by Barry and Fran Weissler, CHICAGO has become a worldwide theatrical phenomenon. The acclamied London production continues to hold the record as the longest-running American musical in West End history, and celebrated 12 years there last month.
CHICAGO can also be seen on tour through the United Kingdom and Australia. International return engagements are slated for Japan in 2010 and Sweden in 2011.
Other previous international engagements include productions in Abu Dhabi, Argentina, Australia, Austria, Brazil, Canada, China, Denmark, Dubai, France, Germany, Greece, Holland, Italy, Japan, Korea, Mexico, Portugal, Russia, South Africa, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan and most recently, Thailand.
With a legendary book by Fred Ebb and Bob Fosse, music by John Kander and lyrics byFred Ebb, 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 winnerKen Billington and sound design by Scott Lehrer.
Visit www.ChicagoTheMusical.com for more information.