Opera star and Tony Award winner for his turn as Emile de Becque in the Lincoln Center Revival of South Pacific Paulo Szot will make his return to the Broadway stage. The actor will join the company of the long-running revival of the Kander and Ebb musical Chicago currently playing at the Ambassador Theatre. He will play the role of the shifty lawyer Billy Flynn.
Szot joins the show on the same evening as Erika Jayne, who takes over the role as the fame-hungry murderess Roxie Hart. Both performers will begin their tenure with the show on Monday, January 6, 2020. Szot will stay with the show through January 31, then return for a nine-week run from March 16 through May 19. Jayne and Szot will be joined on stage by veteran Chicago cast members Amra-Faye Wright as Velma Kelly, Raymond Bokhour as Amos Hart, NaTasha Yvette Williams as Matron “Mama” Morton, and R. Lowe as Mary Sunshine.
Chicago features a score by the legendary composing team of John Kander and Fred Ebb, and a book by Ebb and Bob Fosse. The current revival was directed by Walter Bobbie, with choreography by Ann Reinking. The production includes a set design by John Lee Beatty, costume design by Tony Award winner William Ivey Long, and lighting design by Tony Award winner Ken Billington.
“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. His latest book, Sitcommentary: The Television Comedies That Changed America, released on October 15. He maintains a theater and entertainment blog at markrobinsonwrites.com.
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