LOS ANGELES -- Chicago is going places.
The hit musical now playing to near-capacity houses at the Ahmanson Theatre will transfer across town to the Shubert Theatre in Century City for at least four weeks in July and August.
The July 7 Shubert opening will coincide with the opening of another company from the same production at the Orange County Performing Arts Center. The tour was booked into the Costa Mesa auditorium for the week of July 7-12 more than a year ago.
This marks the first time two companies from the same production will perform simultaneously at both OCPAC and another major southland theatre, said OCPAC spokesperson Greg Patterson. Indeed, local archives do not yield evidence that two companies from the same touring production have ever played in any two southland theatres at the same time.
Chicago co-producer Barry Weissler noted, however, that his recent production of Grease played two Broadway theatres simultaneously for a brief period in late 1996, during a holiday season rush. Charlotte d'Amboise and Brent Barrett, two of the stars from the Ahmanson production, will transfer to the Shubert, but co-star Jasmine Guy will headline at OCPAC. She will be joined by Alan Thicke and Belle Caliaway, who will play Billy Flynn and Roxie Hart, respectively.
Weissler said he doesn't expect the Century City run to effect the Orange County box-office take, as advance sales at OCPAC have alreay hit the 80% mark. Weissler also said that he can't predict if the Shubert run will extend beyond four weeks.
-- By Willard Manus
Southern California Correspondent