Babatunde will play the role of slick lawyer Billy Flynn through Jan. 17 while Brent Barrett is on vacation. Barrett will return to the long-running hit Jan. 18.
Obba Babatunde, who was recently seen in the world-premiere biographical musical, Sammy, received a Tony nomination for his work as C.C. White in Dreamgirls; his other Broadway credits include Timbuktu!, Reggae, It's So Nice to Be Civilized and Grind. His screen credits include "After the Sunset," "The Manchurian Candidate," "Material Girls" and "Half & Half."
The Chicago cast currently features Ashlee Simpson-Wentz as Roxie Hart, Deidre Goodwin as Velma Kelly, Brent Barrett as Billy Flynn, Raymond Bokhour as Amos Hart and Roz Ryan as Matron "Mama" Morton. (As previously announced, Grammy Award winner Michelle Williams will take over the role of Roxie Hart for a seven-week engagement beginning Feb. 8.)
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.
On Jan. 12 when Chicago plays its 5,462nd performance, the musical will become the sixth longest-running production in Broadway history.
Chicago plays the Ambassador Theatre, located at 215 West 49th Street.