Look Back at Chita Rivera and Gwen Verdon in Chicago on Broadway | Playbill

Archival Photos Look Back at Chita Rivera and Gwen Verdon in Chicago on Broadway The original Broadway production opened June 3, 1975.
Chicago_Broadway_Production_Photo_1975_Graciela Daniele, Chita Rivera, Cheryl Clark, Pamela Sousa & Candy Brown_HR.jpg
Graciela Daniele, Chita Rivera, Cheryl Clark, Pamela Sousa, and Candy Brown Martha Swope/©NYPL for the Performing Arts

John Kander and Fred Ebb's Chicago first premiered on Broadway June 3, 1975, at the 46th Street (now Richard Rodgers) Theatre. Bob Fosse, at the time a recent Tony winner for Pippin, directed and choreographed. Chita Rivera and Gwen Verdon led the cast as Velma Kelly and Roxie Hart, respectively, and Jerry Orbach played Billy Flynn. 

The production received 11 Tony nominations, but won zero; competitor A Chorus Line took home nine awards that year. The show went on to play 936 performances.

Two decades later, Chicago returned to the same stage and a very different reception. The musical Clive Barnes deemed "cynical" and "caustic" earned critical and popular acclaim, winning six Tonys including Best Revival of a Musical. The hit revival is currently playing its 22nd year on Broadway, and is officially the longest-running American musical. 

Flip through photos of the original production below:

Look Back at Chita Rivera and Gwen Verdon in Chicago on Broadway

In addition to Rivera, Verdon, and Orbach, the original Broadway cast featured Barney Martin as Amos, Mary McCarty as Mama Morton, and M. O'Haughey as Mary Sunshine. For a complete list of the opening night cast and crew, check out PlaybillVault.com/Chicago.
 
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