Ariana Madix
Ariana Madix

Vanderpump Rules Star Ariana Madix Talks Broadway Debut in Chicago

Vanderpump Rules superstar Ariana Madix is currently rocking Chicago as Broadway’s newest Roxie Hart! Madix made her Main Stem debut in the long-running revival late last month. Spectrum News NY1 entertainment journalist Frank DiLella recently caught up with the actress to talk about this dream come true and much more.

Ariana, I understand Broadway has always been a dream. But you had to go out to L.A. to eventually get back to NYC to fulfill that dream.

 I’ve been on this amazing reality show for 10 years, but it’s been 20 years of hustling and working that I think people don’t see to get to this point.

What is Broadway to you?

It’s everything. I’m a fangirl. Back in the CD days, I owned a lot of cast recordings. I’ve been acting for TV, but for me, there’s nothing like live performance.

What was your go-to cast album growing up?

Once on This Island. RENT. Aida.

Ariana Madix in Chicago. Photo by Jeremy Daniel.
Ariana Madix in Chicago. Photo by Jeremy Daniel.

When were you first introduced to Chicago?

My first memory of Chicago was hearing the music. I would hear the music all the time. Doing show choir and theater, I would hear “All That Jazz.” That’s my earliest memory.

We lost original Velma Kelly, Chita Rivera, just recently. On the night of her passing, you and your company honored Chita at the curtain call.

I feel very lucky to be a part of the Chicago company. There are so many people who are a part of Chicago right now who had very close, personal relationships with Chita. So just to feel that love in the building that night was truly special. There are still pictures of her backstage, and every day, people come down the stairs and touch the pictures before going on stage. Her legacy will live on forever.

Real Housewives of Beverly Hills star Erika Jayne — who is also part of the Bravo family — played the role of Roxie Hart in 2020. Have you talked to Erika about playing Roxie?

I haven’t talked to Erika. We met briefly once at BravoCon. But she did say some lovely things on Watch What Happens Live! that it’s going to be the best time and that she’s happy for me. So that was nice.

Take me to your opening night — your Broadway debut.

Opening night was terrifying and really exciting. I shed many tears that day. My mom was there. It felt like a rock concert! It’s something I will never forget.

Ariana Madix and Amra-Faye Wright in Chicago. Photo by Jeremy Daniel.
Ariana Madix and Amra-Faye Wright in Chicago. Photo by Jeremy Daniel.

Last year was a whirlwind for you personally and professionally, but you’ve had these incredible moments. What’s been the highlight?

This is the standout. You never know where life is going to take you, especially in an industry where you work and hustle behind the scenes. This is the standout forever.

Just chatting with you now, I get the feeling you’re a true “Broadway baby” at your core. Who are your Broadway idols? 

Kristin Chenoweth. I love her on a professional level and on a personal level.

Kristin is a big Bravo fan!

When I first met her she was backstage at Watch What Happens Live! And she knew that I was a theater person, and she said, “Don’t give up on that — I know you can do it.” As soon as she left the room I started crying.

You’re in Chicago through the end of March. When are you coming back to Broadway? Other dream roles?

I would love to do Sweet Charity. I would love to do Mamma Mia! because ABBA is my everything.

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