Emma Pittman, winner of the 2019 "The Search for Roxie!" contest, finally makes her Main Stem debut in the role beginning June 6. The actor, who succeeds Pamela Anderson, is playing a two-week limited engagement in the Tony-winning revival at the Ambassador Theatre through June 19.
More than 41,000 votes were cast in the contest, and three finalists auditioned for Chicago casting directors and producers, along with judges that included the late Ann Reinking as well as Bebe Neuwirth and Bianca Marroquín, all Chicago veterans. Pittman's Broadway debut was delayed due to the pandemic that shuttered all Broadway theatres in March 2020.
The Broadway company of Chicago currently features Lana Gordon (Hadestown, The Lion King) as Velma Kelly, Ryan Silverman (Side Show, Passion) as Billy Flynn, Tony nominee Brenda Braxton (Smokey Joe's Café) as Matron “Mama” Morton, Raymond Bokhour as Amos Hart, and R. Lowe as Mary Sunshine.
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.
It is now the second-longest running show in Broadway history (after The Phantom of the Opera). Over the last 25 years, the show has been seen in 36 different countries by 33 million people worldwide.
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 Ken Billington, sound design by Scott Lehrer, and casting by Stewart/Whitley.
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.