Neuwirth, a stage actress long before America new her as Lilith Sternin in TV's "Cheers" and "Fraiser," picked up the 1997 Best Actress (Musical) Tony for playing Velma, one of several"merry murderesses" in the John Kander-Fred Ebb-Bob Fosse musical about getting away with murder.
Playing opposite Neuwirth is Belle Calaway, as rival Roxie Hart. Robert Urich plays Billy Flynn in the "musical vaudeville" (the 1975 tuner's original billing), and Marcia Lewis remains as salty Matron Mama Morton. Ernie Sabella is hapless Amos Hart, Roxie doormat hubby.
Set in Jazz Age Chicago, the musical has a clutch of Kander and Ebb pastiche vaudeville numbers. Neuwirth introduces the proceedings with "All That Jazz."
The Duncans -- Sandy Duncan as Roxie and Mamie Duncan-Gibbs as Velma - exited the Broadway company of Chicago Jan. 16.
Urich appeared as Billy Flynn in Chicago on national tour in Detroit and Washington DC, and brought his tuxedo to Broadway on Jan. 5. He continues to Feb. 13. Brent Barrett returns to the role Feb. 15.
Urich is best known for his TV roles on "Vegas," "Spenser: For Hire" and "The Love Boat: The Next Wave."
The 1975 John Kander-Fred Ebb-Bob Fosse musical became a smash hit in revival (1996 and still going), eclipsing the original respectable run (923 performances).
The 1996 revival first starred Neuwirth as Velma and Ann Reinking as Roxie, playing roles originated by Chita Rivera and Gwen Verdon, respectively. Walter Bobbie directed, Reinking choreographed "in the style" of Fosse.
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