New Tour of Chicago Launches June 10 in DC; Will Melanie Griffith Join Bway Troupe?

News   New Tour of Chicago Launches June 10 in DC; Will Melanie Griffith Join Bway Troupe? Now that the movie, "Chicago," has won the Best Picture Academy Award, the market is ripe again for a first-class Equity national tour of the Broadway musical that started it all.

Barry and Fran Weissler, who produced the lean, scantily clad (and still-running) 1996 Broadway revival of the 1975 show, will launch another Chicago tour beginning June 10 at the National Theatre in Washington, DC. It plays there for three weeks.

Casting has not been finalized, but the tour troupe "will include performers from the Broadway and film versions." (Don't expect the principal film stars, but members of the film's song-and-dance ensemble may appear; there was cross-pollination between recent stage ensembles and the Rob Marshall's film troupe .) The DC box office opens March 30.

Cities booked so far include St. Paul, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Chicago (the city) and Boston. The show is currently selling well in its seventh year at the Ambassador Theatre (the week of March 17-23 the Ambassador was at 99.1 percent of capacity), spurred by the film's high profile. In a response to the hit film, advertising for the Broadway company now indicates the show is live on stage.

Meanwhile, columnist Cindy Adams reports that Los Angeles gossip has actress Melanie Griffith in talks to play Roxie in the Broadway company of Chicago. A spokesman for the show had no comment. Griffith's husband, Antonio Banderas, is starring in Broadway's Nine. Griffith is currently in New York. She was spotted at a performance of Nine March 25; she seemed visibly moved by his performance, an observer told Playbill On-Line.

For information on new cities booked for the tour, updates will be on the website, chicagothemusical.com. *

Chicago has a book by Bob Fosse and Fred Ebb, lyrics by Fred Ebb and music by John Kander.