British TV star and pin-up Denise van Outen looks likely to come to Broadway this season to play Roxie in the New York production of Chicago. The actress, who earned plaudits for her performance as Roxie Hart in Kander and Ebb's tuner at the Adelphi Theatre in the Strand, has also caught the eye of the show's producers.
London sources say that when her contract expires in mid-September, van Outen will move to New York where she will prepare to reprise her role, this time on Broadway. Her UK TV credits include "The Big Breakfast" and "Something for the Weekend."
Chicago spokesperson Pete Sanders told Playbill On-Line the show's producers have indeed discussed bringing van Outen to Broadway owing to "her great success in London," though definitive plans will "depend on her scheduling." Currently, Nana Visitor plays the Roxie role, a stint recently extended to Oct. 14.
European stage star Anna Montanaro, seen as Velma Kelly in Chicago abroad, is now playing Velma in New York, succeeding Vicki Lewis, who left the show June 21. A native of northern Germany, Montanaro has starred as Velma in Vienna, Munich, Berlin, Basel and London and has also appeared in European stagings of Kiss of the Spider Woman, Grease, Anything Goes, Cats and West Side Story.
Her website, annamontanaro.com, says she does not use a stage name — her father is Italian. She is also a former champion gymnast. She has played Velma in the John Kander-Fred Ebb-Bob Fosse musical for more the 500 performances. Montanaro is in the show through Sept. 4. No word on her replacement, though sources say it won't be a "name." Also in the current Broadway cast, at the Shubert Theatre, are Brent Barrett, P.J. Benjamin and Jennifer Holliday. The latter leaves Aug. 25, with Marcia Lewis returning as Mama Morton Aug. 27.
The Adelphi's production of Chicago began life in New York as part of the Encores! series of platform revivals of classic American musicals.
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