The West End production of Chicago took £3m in ticket sales in a mere four days last week when it extended its booking period from 18 April to 31 October 1998. Demand is so high that producers quickly extended the booking period yet again -- to 30 January 1999.
Weekly trade newspaper The Stage reports that the £3m sum is one of the biggest advances to be recouped by a production in such a short space of time in West End box office history. The newly extended booking period will make a further 200,000 tickets available for theatre-goers.
The Kander and Ebb musical has been consistently sold out since its opening at the Adelphi in November 1997. It's box-office gold is also reflected in its critical acclaim. The show is expected to sweep the Laurence Olivier Awards 16 February, for which it has received 7 nominations, including one a piece for stars Ute Lemper and Ruthie Henshall as Best Actress in a Musical. Co-star Henry Goodman was also nominated for Best Actor in a Musical. Other nominations included Best Director for Walter Bobbie, Best Theatre Choreographer for Ann Reinking, Best Costume Designer for William Ivey Long and Most Outstanding Musical Production
Henshall, who has previously starred in Crazy for You and Oliver!, plays Roxie, a chorus girl who has murdered her lover but manages to get acquitted with the help of Goodman's sleazy lawyer. She teams up with fellow murderess Ute Lemper for a double act to keep them in the public eye.
The Broadway revival of the 1975 musical won six Tony Awards last year and looks like it will be playing to sell-out houses on both sides of the Atlantic for some time to come.