At that celebratory performance, the production will welcome back its four original stars: Tony Award winners Ann Reinking, Bebe Neuwirth, James Naughton and Joel Grey. Reinking, Neuwirth, Naughton and Grey — who originated the roles of Roxie Hart, Velma Kelly, Billy Flynn and Amos Hart, respectively — will each make cameo appearances at various points in the milestone performance.
"What a joy to welcome back all four of the legendary stars who launched this incredibly beautiful production eighteen years ago!" said producer Barry Weissler in a statement. "Sometimes, it seems like only yesterday, yet here we are — just a few weeks away from becoming the second longest-running show in Broadway history. Walter Bobbie and Ann Reinking recreated a musical masterpiece that has withstood the test of time, and it's with great honor that I look forward to sharing their masterpiece with audiences for many more years to come."
Producer Fran Weissler added, "This incredible moment is a testament not only to the unparalleled genius of the Chicago creators -- John Kander, Fred Ebb, Bob Fosse -- but to the magnificent contributions from countless actors, musicians, stagehands, dance captains, crew members, advertising and marketing gurus, stage managers, production managers and more who have participated in our show these past 18 years. They continually succeed at being the absolute best in the business!"
In October Chicago will launch its 16th national touring Broadway production, a 30-city itinerary that includes return engagements to New Orleans, San Francisco, Kansas City, Washington D.C., Baltimore and more. That touring company will also play a three-week debut engagement in Manila this holiday season.
The Broadway company now stars Amy Spanger as Roxie Hart, Amra-Faye Wright as Velma Kelly, two-time Tony Award nominee Christopher Fitzgerald as Billy Flynn, Paul C. Vogt as Amos Hart, Carmen Ruby Floyd as Matron "Mama" Morton (beginning Sept. 29) and R. Lowe as Mary Sunshine.
The ensemble includes Donna Marie Asbury, Nicole Bridgewater, David Bushman, Jennifer Dunne, Adam Jepsen, J. Loeffelholz, Melissa Rae Mahon, Sharon Moore, Brian O'Brien, Alfie Parker Jr., Denny Paschall, Stephanie Pope, Angel Reda, Jason Patrick Sands, Michael Scirrotto, Brian Spitulnik, Tonya Wathen and Adam Zotovich.
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.
Visit ChicagoTheMusical.com for more information.