The deck of Chicago performers in North America is being reshuffled again.
Ute Lemper’s Velma will be dealt from the Broadway company Feb. 14 to help open the Las Vegas troupe Mar. 3, and Bebe Neuwirth is back in the game as Broadway’s Velma for five weeks, as of Feb. 20. Neuwirth originated the role in the musical revival.
Lemper’s last performance on Broadway is Feb. 14, but she’ll return to the New York company in April. She joins Chita Rivera, Marcia Lewis, Ernie Sabella and Ben Vereen in the desert company, which is now doing smash business at the Princess of Wales Theatre in Toronto.
Vereen is expected to step into the role of Billy Flynn Feb. 18 in Canada, and a Toronto source said Lemper will step into the Toronto Velma role around Feb 23. It closes there Feb. 26.
The Vegas company begins shows Mar. 3 at the new Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino, which opens to the public Mar. 2. A press opening date for the six month Vegas Chicago stand has not been announced. Neuwirth’s colleagues in the Broadway company of Chicago at the Shubert Theatre remain Karen Ziemba as Roxie, Brent Barrett as Billy, P.J. Benjamin as Amos and Roz Ryan as Mama Morton.
The show’s official website is www.chicagothemusical.com.