Chicago Loses French Because of Brooke Gain???
Date: 29 April 2005
Two days later than originally scheduled, Brooke Shields made her West End debut in Chicago last night at the Adelphi Theatre (See News, 14 Apr 2005). Unfortunately, the leading lady was without her leading man. Existing cast member and EastEnders star Michael French, who was meant to play super-slick lawyer Billy Flynn to Shields’ sexy murderess client Roxie Hart, left the Kander and Ebb musical abruptly after the evening performance on Wednesday 27 April. According to today’s Daily Mail newspaper, French was ousted by the management after he was heard bad-mouthing Shields backstage. A show insider told columnist Baz Bamibgoye, “When he (French) went into the show, he thought he should be the biggest name on stage, but he was the biggest plonker. And it wasn’t just Brooke he was upset with. He was upset with Jill Halfpenny as well when she was in the show.” The official statement provided to Whatsonstage.com today is: “Due to other professional commitments, the producers accepted French’s resignation.” The part of Billy Flynn is now being played by understudy Simon Breen. Shields continues in the show until 25 June 2005 (not including 3 to 13 May).
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