"Roxie Rocks Chicago!" screams the banner headline of a Windy City paper, held aloft by Sandy Duncan in Broadway's Chicago at the Shubert Theatre.
The headline is understatement: In three years, Roxie has rocked the world, and made a fortune for producer Barry and Fran Weissler.
Some 25 years after the Bob Fosse-conceived musical opened a respectable 923-performance run on Broadway, Chicago has become the smash its creators John Kander (music) and Fred Ebb (book & lyrics, with Fosse) hoped it would. The Weisslers announced that their Tony Award-winning revival has grossed $100 million on Broadway, and $334 million worldwide.
The $334 million gross represents all current companies including New York (with Duncan, Mamie Duncan-Gibbs and Brent Barrett), London (at the Adelphi), Las Vegas (with Charlotte d'Amboise, Jasmine Guy and Hal Linden), on U.S. national tour (with Nana Visitor, Vicki Lewis and Robert Urich) and productions in Holland, Berlin, Sweden and Australia.
Rehearsals begin soon for the South American company, which will play Buenos Aires, and a production in Lisbon, Portugal. The Chicago industry began in 1996 as scaled-back concert version of the 1975 "musical vaudeville," directed by Walter Bobbie and choreographed "in the style of" the late Fosse by Ann Reinking. The concert revival by Encores! was picked up by the Weisslers and moved to Broadway.
Duncan co-stars in the current company with Duncan-Gibbs as Velma Kelly, Brent Barrett as Billy Flynn, P.J. Benjamin as Amos Hart and original cast member Marcia Lewis as Matron Mama Morton.
Tickets on Broadway range $20 (for rush tickets) to $80. Call (212) 239 6200 for information.