Cuba Gooding, Jr. is getting ready to “Razzle Dazzle” Broadway. The Academy Award-winning actor will join the Broadway company of the musical Chicago as the unscrupulous, singing and dancing lawyer Billy Flynn. He will begin performances starting Saturday, October 6 and will play the role through Sunday, November 18, 2018, at Broadway’s Ambassador Theatre.
This is not Cuba Gooding, Jr’s first time in the role of Billy Flynn. He made his West End debut in the show at London’s Phoenix Theatre earlier this year. He made his Broadway debut in 2013 in the revival of Horton Foote’s The Trip to Bountiful, which also starred Cicely Tyson and Vanessa Williams.
Cuba Gooding, Jr. won an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor in the 1996 film Jerry Maguire. His breakthrough role came in 1991 in the film Boyz in the Hood. Other film roles include A Few Good Men (1992), As Good as It Gets (1997), Men of Honor (2000), Pearl Harbor (2001), American Gangster (2007), The Butler (2013), and Selma (2014). He received an Emmy Award-nomination for his work in the F/X drama series The People v. O.J. Simpson, playing the notorious title character. Other TV work includes American Horror Story: Roanoke.
Chicago currently stars Michelle DeJean as Roxie Hart, Terra C. MacLeod as Velma Kelly, John O’Hurley as Billy Flynn, Evan Harrington as Amos Hart, Cady Huffman as Matron “Mama” Morton, and R. Lowe as Mary Sunshine. The musical features a book by Fred Ebb and Bob Fosse, with music and lyrics by Ebb and John Kander. Walter Bobbie directed the Tony-winning revival, with choreography by Tony-winner Ann Reinking.
“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.”
Mark Robinson is the author of the two-volume encyclopedia The World of Musicals, The Disney Song Encyclopedia, and The Encyclopedia of Television Theme Songs. He maintains a theater and entertainment blog at markrobinsonwrites.com.