Griffith, Shields, Swayze, Brady and Harrison to Be Part of Chicago Celebration

By Andrew Gans
27 Jul 2006

Brooke Shields will be among the performers returning to celebrate Chicago's tenth anniversary
Brooke Shields will be among the performers returning to celebrate Chicago's tenth anniversary
Photo by Len Prince

In addition to original Chicago cast members Ann Reinking, Bebe Neuwirth, James Naughton, Joel Grey and Marcia Lewis, the tenth anniversary celebration of the Kander and Ebb revival will also feature several Chicago alumni who have appeared in the show at some point in the past decade.

A Chicago spokesperson confirmed that the Nov. 14 anniversary performance at the Ambassador Theatre will also feature the work of Melanie Griffith, Brooke Shields, Wayne Brady, Patrick Swayze, Marilu Henner, Huey Lewis, Gregory Harrison and Alan Thicke. (Additional stars will be announced shortly.) Tony-winning director Walter Bobbie will helm the one-night-only event as the original stars and other Chicago performers present the musical in its entirety. Show time is 6:30 PM.

In a previous statement Chicago producer Barry Weissler said, "Its an amazing testament to the genius of the creators, Bob Fosse and John Kander & Fred Ebb that our production of Chicago has played over 4,500 performances and will celebrate its 10th year. Every talented actor who has graced our stage for the past 10 years as well as all of our backstage crew and musicians contributed to the enormous success of Chicago. Not only has it been a glorious ride on Broadway, but its many international and national productions have proven that Chicago is a timeless show which audiences have responded to for its brilliant concept, book, music and dancing.

The performance and post-show gala will benefit Safe Horizon, "a victim assistance agency that provides support, prevents violence, and promotes justice for victims of crime and abuse, their families and their communities." Visit www.safehorizon.org for more information.

The current revival of Chicago began life as one of the three annual Encores! presentations offered by City Center. Produced by Barry and Fran Weissler, the musical opened on Broadway at the Richard Rodgers Theatre in Nov. 1996 where it remained through Feb. 1997. The musical transferred to the Shubert Theatre on Feb. 11, 1997, and played that house through Jan. 26, 2003. The revival reopened at the Ambassador Theatre, its current home, on Jan. 29, 2003.



Chicago currently features Brenda Braxton as Velma Kelly, Rita Wilson as Roxie Hart, Obba Babatunde as Billy Flynn, Kevin Chamberlin as Amos Hart, Lillias White as Matron "Mama" Morton and R. Lowe as Mary Sunshine. Michelle DeJean will step into the role of Roxie Hart Aug. 8-20. Bianca Marroquin, who starred in the Mexico City production of Chicago, will begin performances as Roxie Aug. 22, the same day Grammy Award winner Usher begins his stint as Billy Flynn.

Chicago won the Tony Award 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 choreographer Ann Reinking. The original production was directed and choreographed by the late Bob Fosse.

Chicago plays the Ambassador Theatre, located at 215 West 49th Street.

Tickets for the 10th anniversary gala range from $500-$5,000; sponsorships begin at $10,000. For reservations call (212) 577 7749.