Ron Raines is in as Flynn beginning March 25. That is, singer-actor Ron Raines will take over the role of Billy Flynn in the hit Broadway musical Chicago, now in its sixth year at the Shubert Theatre.
Film star Louis Gossett, Jr. had been scheduled to play the slick lawyer through April 7, but he was forced to leave the production last month due to an aggravated asthmatic condition. Since that time Eric Jordan Young, who received the 2001 Helen Hayes Award for his portrayal of Jake in the Signature Theatre's production of Side Show, has been starring as the smooth-talking attorney who sings "All I Care About (Is Love)."
Currently appearing as Alan Spaulding in the CBS daytime drama "Guiding Light," Ron Raines' many stage roles include the Broadway and national tours of Teddy & Alice, Show Boat, The Unsinkable Molly Brown and Can Can. Opera patrons have seen his work in Die Fledermaus as well as opposite Dame Cleo Laine in Stephen Sondheim's A Little Night Music. Raines has also performed with symphony orchestras throughout the country, and his solo recording is entitled "Ron Raines: Broadway Passion."
When he joins the company, Raines' co-stars will include London TV and stage star Denise Van Outen as Roxie Hart, Deidre Goodwin as Velma Kelly, Broadway veteran P.J. Benjamin as Amos Hart and recent 45 Seconds From Broadway actress-singer Alix Korey as Matron "Mama" Morton.
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 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 director Ann Reinking. The original production was directed and choreographed by the late Bob Fosse. For ticket information, call (212) 239-6200.