Academy Award-winning actor Cuba Gooding Jr (Jerry Maguire), who played Billy Flynn in the Broadway revival of Chicago from October 6 to November 18 in 2018, will return to the production for a five-week limited engagement. From January 7, 2019 through February 10, 2019, Gooding will once again put on the pants of the razzle-dazzle, fast-talking lawyer, taking over the role from Tom Hewitt who currently plays Billy Flynn.
Cuba Gooding, Jr. is no stranger to Chicago, having 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. Gooding 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 Charlotte D’Amboise as Roxie Hart, Amra-Faye Wright as Velma Kelly, Tom Hewitt as Billy Flynn, Evan Harrington as Amos Hart, Raena White as Matron “Mama” Morton and R. Lowe as Mary Sunshine. The musical is directed by Walter Bobbie and features choreography by Tony-winner Ann Reinking. Chicago’s memorable score was penned by the composing team of Kander and Ebb, with Ebb pairing with the show’s original director-choreographer Bob Fosse to write the book.
“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.