Richardson, who will be making his Broadway debut in the long-running musical revival, takes over the role of slick lawyer Billy Flynn from film actor Billy Zane, who played his last performance Jan. 19. Richardson will play Flynn at the Shubert Theatre through Jan. 26 and will move with the company to the Ambassador Theatre on Jan. 29. He is scheduled to stay with the production through March 9.
As the smooth-talking lawyer who represents merry murderesses Roxie Hart and Velma Kelly, Richardson will sing such Kander and Ebb tunes as "All I Care About," "We Both Reached for the Gun" and "Razzle Dazzle." The current company also includes Caroline O'Connor as Velma Kelly, Belle Calaway as Roxie Hart, Roz Ryan as Matron "Mama" Morton and Rob Bartlett as Amos Hart.
A member of the Backstreet Boys pop group, whose record sales number 71 million, Richardson has performed in several regional theatrical productions. Richardson follows another boy band star, 'N Sync's Joey Fatone, who made his Main Stem bow on Aug. 5 in Jonathan Larson's Rent.
Chicago, at the Shubert Theatre (225 West 44th Street), won the Tony 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. For ticket information, call (212) 239-6200.