Gabrielle Takes Over as Chicago's Racy RoxieDate: 3 February 2000
Josefina Gabrielle, who starred as golden girl Laurey in the National's production of Oklahoma!, will add a new bad-girl dimension to her repertoire this month when she takes over from Maria Friedman as murderess Roxie Hart in Chicago. Gabrielle joins other newcomers Anna-Jane Casey as Velma Kelly and comedian Les Dennis as Amos Hart in the cast at the Adelphi from Monday 14 February.
The threesome will replace Friedman - who will go on to star with Ian McShane, Joanna Riding and Lucie Arnaz in Cameron Mackintosh's The Witches of Eastwick - Valarie Pettiford and Norman Pace, who all leave the show at the end of their contracts.
Gabrielle was nominated for an Olivier for Best Actress in a Musical for her role in Oklahoma!, which opened at the National in July 1998 and went on to a West End run at the Lyceum last year before a Broadway transfer was abandoned due to wrangles with actors' union American Equity. Gabrielle's other West End credits include Carousel, Fame and The Goodbye Girl.
Casey comes straight to Chicago from starring as Anita in West Side Story which just finished its extended run at the Prince of Wales Theatre. Her other West End credits include Starlight Express, Grease, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat and Cats. Dennis returns to the Adelphi where he starred in Me and My Girl in 1992. His many television series include The Les Dennis Laughter Show and Family Fortunes.
Chicago, directed by Walter Bobbie and choreographed by Ann Reinking in the style of Bob Fosse, opened at the Adelphi in November 1997. In 1998, it won the Critics Circle Award for Best Musical and the Laurence Olivier Award for Outstanding Musical Production.