Broadway's Chicago Welcomes New Billy Flynn and Matron "Mama" Morton Tonight

News   Broadway's Chicago Welcomes New Billy Flynn and Matron "Mama" Morton Tonight
The Tony-winning revival of Chicago, which recently became Broadway's second longest-running show, welcomes two new leading players at the Ambassador Theatre Dec. 1.

German film and television star Pasquale Aleardi makes his Broadway debut as Billy Flynn, and NaTasha Yvette Williams steps into the role of Matron "Mama" Morton.

Aleardi takes over for two-time Tony nominee Christopher Fitzgerald, who played his final performance Nov. 30. Williams  succeeds Carmen Ruby Floyd, who also played her final performance Nov. 30.

Aleardi was born in Zurich, Switzerland, and resides in Berlin. With more than 70 television, film and theatre credits in Germany and internationally, his career spans a multitude of entertainment genres and styles. He is playing a limited week-long engagement with the Broadway company through Dec. 7, after which he'll return to Germany to star as Flynn in the new production of Chicago at the Stage Palladium Theatre in Stuttgart.

Williams was last seen onstage as Queenie in the New York Philharmonic's acclaimed production of Show Boat. Her Broadway credits include A Night with Janis Joplin, The Gershwins' Porgy and Bess and as Sofia in The Color Purple.

The Broadway company also features Amy Spanger as Roxie Hart, Amra-Faye Wright as Velma Kelly, Raymond Bokhour as Amos Hart and R. Lowe and Mary Sunshine. Chicago has set design by John Lee Beatty, costume design by Tony Award winner William Ivey Long, lighting design by Tony Award winner Ken Billington, sound design by Scott Lehrer, musical supervision by Rob Fisher and musical direction by Leslie Stifelman.

The revival of John Kander and Fred Ebb's 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.

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 W. 49th Street.

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