Chicago, Broadway’s longest-running revival of a musical, has announced that Grammy-winning singer-songwriter Kandi Burruss will be joining the production in the role of Matron Mama Morton, who sings the musical’s show-stopping “When You’re Good to Mama.” For eight-weeks only, commencing January 15th and ending March 11, 2018, Burruss will be the “keeper of the keys” in production which is currently playing its 21st Year.
“Currently headlining a sold-out nationwide tour with her mega-popular group XSCAPE, Grammy Award-winning, multi-platinum selling, singer, songwriter, TV personality and entrepreneur, Kandi Burruss-Tucker’s influence can be felt everywhere. Not only is she behind countless hit records and a star on the TV smash The Real Housewives of Atlanta; Kandi is also thriving in business with her own companies, Bedroom Kandi – an adult line, TAGS Boutique – luxury women’s apparel, Raising Ace – a baby line inspired by her son Ace, Old Lady Gang – a southern eatery, and other ventures.”
Set in the 1920s, Chicago features a score by John Kander and Fred Ebb (Cabaret, Kiss of the Spider Woman) and a book by Ebb and Bob Fosse. Fosse also directed and choreographed. It tells the story of Roxie Hart, an aspiring star of vaudeville who goes to jail for murder, but thanks to a razzle-dazzle, flim-flam lawyer, becomes a celebrity. The revival is directed by Walter Bobbie and is choreographed by Ann Reinking. Charlotte d’Amboise currently plays Roxie Hart, with Leigh Zimmerman as Velma Kelly, YouTube sensation and Broadway star Todrick Hall (through January 14th only) as Billy Flynn, Raymond Bokhour as Amos Hart, LaVon Fisher-Wilson as Matron “Mama” Morton and R. Lowe as Mary Sunshine. The production is currently ensconced at Broadway’s Ambassador Theatre.
Chicago originally ran on Broadway in 1975 where it was eclipsed by the musical sensation A Chorus Line, which swept the Tony Awards. Nevertheless, Chicago boasted a run of 936 performances, featuring a cast that included Gwen Verdon, Chita Rivera, and Jerry Orbach. Among its memorable songs are “All that Jazz,” “Nowadays,” “Razzle Dazzle,” “The Cell-Block Tango,” and “Mr. Cellophane.”
Mark Robinson is the author of the two-volume encyclopedia The World of Musicals and maintains a theater and entertainment blog at markrobinsonwrites.com.
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