Ashlee Simpson Will Play Roxie in Hollywood Bowl Staging of Chicago
By Adam Hetrick
Pop singer Ashlee Simpson, who made her London and Broadway debuts as Roxie Hart in Chicago, will reprise her performance in the Hollywood Bowl production of that Tony-winning Kander and Ebb musical this summer.
Stage and screen star Brooke Shields, who also appeared in the Broadway and London productions of Chicago, will direct the award-winning musical that will run July 26-28. Rob Fisher will conduct the orchestra.
As previously reported, Samantha Barks ("Les Misérables") will play Velma Kelly, with Drew Carey ("The Price Is Right," "Whose Line Is It Anyway?") as Amos Hart, Lucy Lawless ("Xena: Warrior Princess," Grease) as Mama Morton and Stephen Moyer ("True Blood") as Billy Flynn.
"I have a great feeling about this entire cast," Shields said in a statement. "I am excited for everyone to see how brilliant Samantha Barks is on stage. We've seen Stephen Moyer sing on 'True Blood' – and that dark, sexy side of Billy will be well served by him. Drew played the Dad in Hairspray at the Bowl two years ago, and he will bring not only comedy but depth to our Amos. I wouldn’t say no to anything Lucy Lawless ordered me to do…as 'Mama' or in life!! And let's not forget the most exciting character … the Bowl itself!"
Tickets are now on sale. Visit Hollywoodbowl.com.
The Broadway 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.
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