Photo by Tony Esparza/CBS
The actor, who stands at 6 feet 8-1/2 inches tall, was scheduled to portray Amos Hart from June 25 to July 28 in the Kander and Ebb classic but has withdrawn from the musical in order to film the television movie based on the life of the late Jackie Gleason. A spokesman for Chicago confirmed the news. P.J. Benjamin will continue in the role of Amos Hart, the beleaguered husband who sings "Mister Cellophane."
Garrett, whose role in Chicago would have marked his Broadway debut, was the first $100,000 grand champion winner in the comedy category of the original "Star Search" series. That win led to his first appearance on "The Tonight Show" as well as opening spots for such concert legends as Liza Minnelli and Diana Ross. A host of TV and film roles followed — including "Suicide Kings" and "Sweet and Lowdown" — but it is his role as Robert Charles Barone on the award-winning "Everybody Loves Raymond" that has brought the actor/comedian the most acclaim.
The Broadway company of Chicago did welcome two new stars June 4, veteran film actor George Hamilton (as Billy Flynn) and recent Rockwell star Stephanie Pope (as Velma Kelly). Mexico City actress Bianca Marroquin will join the cast as Roxie Hart on July 7; Belle Calaway current plays that role.
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 Award for Best Revival (Musical) in 1997. Walter Bobbie directs and Ann Reinking choreographs "in the style of Bob Fosse." For ticket information, call (212) 239-6200.