Babatunde, who previously played Billy Flynn in the New York company of the Kander and Ebb musical and who created the role for the national touring company in 1997, succeeds John O'Hurley in the role. Babatunde is scheduled to play slick lawyer Flynn through June 11. Frequent Chicago stars Shayne and Braxton return as, respectively, merry murderesses Roxie Hart and Velma Kelly.
(Charlotte d'Amboise, another Chicago favorite, will replace Shayne April 24 as Roxie.)
Chicago currently features Raymond Bokhour as Amos Hart, Lillias White as Matron "Mama" Morton and R. Lowe as Mary Sunshine.
Obba Babatunde received a Tony nomination for his work as C.C. White in Dreamgirls; his other Broadway credits include Timbuktu!, Reggae, It's So Nice to Be Civilized and Grind. His screen credits include "After the Sunset," "The Manchurian Candidate," "Material Girls" and "Half & Half."
Brenda Braxton received a 1995 Tony Award nomination, an NAACP Theater Award and Chicago's Jefferson Award for her work in the revue Smokey Joe's Cafe. Her other Broadway credits include Jelly's Last Jam, Cats, Legs Diamond and Dreamgirls. Braxton was also seen in the Off-Broadway musical Little Ham and the City Center Encores! mounting of House of Flowers. Tracy Shayne made her Broadway debut in the Tony-winning musical A Chorus Line. She also played Christine in Andrew Lloyd Webber's The Phantom of the Opera, and she succeeded Judy Kuhn in the role of Cosette in the Broadway company of Les Misérables.
Chicago won the Tony Award for Best Revival of a Musical in 1997 as well as awards for actors Bebe Neuwirth and James Naughton, director Walter Bobbie, lighting designer Ken Billington and choreographer Ann Reinking. The original production was directed and choreographed by the late Bob Fosse.
Chicago plays the Ambassador Theatre, located at 215 West 49th Street.