As expected, Tony Award-winner Hal Linden, a New York musical theatre fixture in the 1960s and early 70s, before becoming TV's "Barney Miller," will join the Las Vegas company of Chicago. He'll play lawyer Billy Flynn starting Aug. 31, taking over for Ben Vereen.
Linden geared up for the Vegas stint by playing Flynn in the "Roxie" national tour in Madison, WI, Aug. 4, and went on to Hartford, CT, Aug. 6-8, and St. Louis, MO, Aug. 10-15. That tour went on a six-week hiatus Aug. 22.
The Vegas staging, which opened March 1999 at the Mandalay Bay Resort, is expected to continue at least into early 2000. Linden's co-stars are Jasmine Guy, Charlotte d'Amboise, Roz Ryan (as Mama Morton) and Michael Tucci as hapless Amos.
Linden was a clarinet and a big band singer before he studied acting with Paul Mann and Lloyd Richards. His break came in 1958 when he understudied Sydney Chaplin in Bells Are Ringing. He eventually took over the role and went on the national tour (singing "Just in Time," the show's big hit.).
Linden appeared in 18 Broadway musicals including On a Clear Day You Can See Forever, Subways Are for Sleeping, The Apple Tree, Ilya Darling and, most recently, The Sisters Rosensweig and I'm Not Rappaport. He won the Tony Award playing patriarch Mayer Rothschild in the Sheldon Harnick-Jerry Bock musical, The Rothschilds. For information about Chicago at the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino call (877) 632-7400.