By Andrew Gans
17 Dec 2013
"Simply put, Bebe Neuwirth is Chicago," said producer Barry Weissler in a statement. "When the revival opened 17 years ago, Bebe was honored with a Tony Award, an Astaire Award, a Drama Desk Award, an Outer Critics Circle Award and the Drama League Award for her unequalled performance as Velma Kelly. Hers was the performance of the season, and it made an indelible and lasting mark in the history of Broadway theatre. Ten years later, she rejoined the company to star as Roxie Hart, and the results were equally spectacular. And this January she's back again, now as Matron 'Mama' Morton, making her the first leading lady in Broadway history to play all three principal roles. I'll say it again: Bebe Neuwirth is Chicago."
Neuwirth's other Broadway credits include The Addams Family (Morticia), Fosse (Principal), A Chorus Line (Sheila), Little Me (Monique), Dancin' (Principal), Sweet Charity (Nickie, Tony Award) and Damn Yankees (Lola).
The revival of Chicago began life as one of the three annual Encores! presentations offered by City Center. The musical opened on Broadway at the Richard Rodgers Theatre in November 1996 where it remained through February 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. Read more about the revival in the Playbill Vault.
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. The modern classic has music by John Kander, lyrics by Fred Ebb and book by Ebb and Fosse.
The Ambassador Theatre is located at 219 W. 49th Street.
Visit ChicagoTheMusical.com for more information.
PHOTO ARCHIVE: Celebrating Bebe Neuwirth