PHOTO CALL: Broadway's Chicago Celebrates New "Mama" Wendy Williams
02 Jul 2013
Celebrated talk-show host and best-selling author Wendy Williams began her Broadway debut engagement as Matron "Mama" Morton in the Tony Award-winning revival of Chicago June 28 at the Ambassador Theatre. The company celebrated her arrival with a July 1 photo op and reception.
Wendy Williams burst onto the talk show scene in July 2009 with the launch of the nationally syndicated weekday program, "The Wendy Williams Show." The program, which airs in 52 countries, on BET at midnight and is now in its fourth season, has just been renewed on Fox through 2014. Prior to achieving success in daytime television, Williams built a devoted audience of fans throughout a 23-year career in radio. "The Wendy Williams Experience" was Williams' top-rated daily radio show. Syndicated nationally, it aired on WBLS in New York and was listened to by an audience of more than 12 million people. Williams was inducted into the National Radio Hall of Fame in November of 2009, one of only a handful of women with that honor. Williams competed on Season 12 of ABC's dancing competition "Dancing With The Stars," has hosted Game Show Network's original series "Love Triangle," and appeared as a featured guest on ABC's "One Life to Live" and Lifetime's "Drop Dead Diva." Williams is the author of The New York Times best seller "The Wendy Williams Experience" (Dutton Books), as well as several novels including "Ritz Harper Goes to Hollywood," and will release her sixth book titled "Ask Wendy" on May 7. She contributes a regular celebrity hot topics column to the entertainment magazine Life & Style Weekly.
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.
Holed up in a seedy motel on the edge of the Mojave Desert, two former lovers unpack the deep secrets and dark desires of their tangled relationship, passionately tearing each other apart. Led by director Daniel Aukin (Back Back Back at MTC, 4,000 Miles), Tony winner Nina Arianda (Venus in Fur at MTC, Born Yesterday) and Sam Rockwell (A Behanding in Spokane, The Way Way Back) bring an explosive intensity to Sam Shepard’s (Buried Child, True West) landmark myth of the new Wild West.