Williams, who played the role of merry murderous Roxie Hart in the London production of the Kander and Ebb hit, now assumes the same part at the Ambassador Theatre. The singing actress, who succeeds Ashlee Simpson-Wentz, will perform on Broadway through March 28.
Terra C. MacLeod will return to the role of Velma Kelly on Feb. 8. The Broadway Chicago cast also currently features Brent Barrett as Billy Flynn, Raymond Bokhour as Amos Hart and Roz Ryan as Matron "Mama" Morton.
Williams has previously appeared on stage in the title role of Elton John and Tim Rice's Aida on Broadway and in the national tour of The Color Purple in Chicago, Los Angeles and San Francisco, playing the role of blues singer Shug Avery. She released her solo debut album in 2002, "Heart to Yours," which charted as the best-selling gospel album of that year and spawned the single "Heard a Word." She also released "Do You Know" in 2004 and "Unexpected” in 2008. In 2004, she also reunited with Knowles and Rowland to make a fourth Destiny's Child studio album, "Destiny Fulfilled," that was followed by a world tour, after which they officially disbanded. On TV, Williams has appeared in "Half & Half," and on the reality TV show "Celebrity Duets."
MacLeod has a long history with the role of Velma Kelly, having starred in the French world premieres of Chicago in Montreal (2003) and Paris (2004). She has also played prior engagements with the Broadway, national and international touring productions of the Kander and Ebb hit. MacLeod recently made her West End debut as Velma Kelly at London's Cambridge Theatre.
Chicago won the Tony Award 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. Chicago plays the Ambassador Theatre, located at 219 West 49th Street.
Visit www.ChicagoTheMusical.com for more information.