Diggs Postpones Chicago Run; Expected to Join Cast Week of Sept. 30

News   Diggs Postpones Chicago Run; Expected to Join Cast Week of Sept. 30 Former Rent star Taye Diggs has postponed his Chicago debut for a second time.

Former Rent star Taye Diggs has postponed his Chicago debut for a second time.

Originally scheduled to join the New York company Sept. 19, it was announced last week that Diggs would begin his run as Billy Flynn Sept. 24. Now, it seems the actor — who will also star in the film of Chicago this winter — will start his Flynn run during the week of Sept. 30.

Although four weeks of rehearsal are usually given to those replacing performers in Broadway shows, Diggs had taken only three weeks to learn the role of the slick lawyer. When he was asked to perform in the recent Broadway on Broadway concert, that lessened his already short rehearsal period by a few days. "His rehearsal period needed to be extended because he had to rehearse for other things — Broadway on Broadway — during that time. Now, he'll have had the normal rehearsal times, which is four weeks," a spokesman for the show said. It is expected that Diggs will join the show during the week of Sept. 30, although a definitive date could not be given at press time.

Diggs replaces "Six Feet Under" star Michael C. Hall, who recently left Chicago to begin filming the new season of the HBO hit series. During the interim, Destan Owens will portray Billy Flynn, the role originated in this revival by Tony Award winner James Naughton. Owens has appeared in the companies of The Who's Tommy and Smokey Joe's Cafe.

* Taye Diggs made his Broadway debut in the ensemble of Lincoln Center's award-winning Carousel revival. He later starred as Benny in the original company of Jonathan Larson's Rent and then appeared in the Off-Broadway production of The Wild Party. He made his feature film debut opposite Angela Bassett in "How Stella Got Her Groove Back," and he recently completed production of a new film with Jamie Kennedy, Blair Underwood, Ryan O'Neal and Bo Derek. This fall he will be seen in the romantic comedy "Brown Sugar," which opens in October; and in the screen adaptation of Chicago, which hits screens in December.

Bob Fosse, John Kander and Fred Ebb's Chicago, presented by Barry and Fran Weissler, plays the Shubert Theatre, 225 W. 44th Street. It 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.

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Charlotte d'Amboise joined the New York company of Chicago Sept. 17 in the role of Roxie Hart. Others in the company include Deidre Goodwin (Velma Kelly), P.J. Benjamin (Amos Hart), Roz Ryan (Matron Mama Morton) and R. Bean (Mary Sunshine).