Thomas, who steps into the role of Matron "Mama" Morton, is not only making her Broadway debut, but also becomes the first Asian-American actor to play the role on Broadway. The performer, who succeeds Jennifer Fouché, has appeared at Pittsburgh CLO as Helene in Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812 and at Berkeley Rep in Dave Malloy's Octet.
The ensemble includes David Bushman, Christine Cornish, Jessica Ernest, Jeff Gorti, Arian Keddell, Mary Claire King, Marty Lawson, Joseph London, Barrett Martin, Sharon Moore, Drew Nellessen, Brian O'Brien, Denny Paschall, Khori Michele Petinaud, Angel Reda, Jermaine R. Rembert, Michael Scirrotto, and Dani Spieler.
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 14, 1996, where it remained through February 1997. The musical transferred to the Shubert Theatre, and played that house through January 26, 2003. The revival reopened at the Ambassador Theatre January 29 that year.
Since its debut in 1996, Chicago has played in 36 countries
and been seen by 33 million people worldwide. It is now the
second-longest running show in Broadway history (after the recently
closed The Phantom of the Opera).
With a book by the late Fred Ebb and Bob Fosse, music by John Kander, and lyrics by Ebb, Chicago features direction by Walter Bobbie, choreography by the late Ann Reinking, set design by John Lee Beatty, costume design by William Ivey Long, lighting design by Ken Billington, sound design by Scott Lehrer, and casting by ARC.
The current production, produced by Barry and Fran Weissler, won the Tony Award for Best Revival of a Musical in 1997 as well as awards for actors Bebe Neuwirth and James Naughton, director Bobbie, lighting designer Billington, and Reinking. The original production was directed and choreographed by the late Fosse.