Japan's Ryoko Yonekura Makes Broadway Debut in Chicago July 10
By Andrew Gans
The Tony-winning revival of Chicago welcomes Japanese superstar Ryoko Yonekura to the role of merry murderess Roxie Hart beginning July 10 at the Ambassador Theatre.
The actress is playing a one-week engagement through July 15.
She joins a cast that includes Amra-Faye Wright as Velma Kelly, Tony Yazbeck as Billy Flynn, Raymond Bokhour as Amos Hart and Carol Woods as Matron "Mama" Morton.
Following her Broadway debut, Yonekura will join Wright and the U.S. national touring company of Chicago in Tokyo, Aug. 30-Sept. 16 at the Akasaka Act Theatre.
Yonekura originated the role of Roxie Hart in the Japanese-language production of Chicago in 2008 and again in 2010. Last year, she played Scarlet O'Hara in the Japanese stage adaptation of Gone With The Wind and won the Kazuo Kikuta Drama Award.
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 Ambassador Theatre is located at 219 West 49th Street.
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