Shields Makes West End Debut as Chicago’s RoxieDate: 6 April 2005
As previously tipped (See The Goss, 2 Mar 2005), American screen and stage actress Brooke Shields (pictured) will make her British stage debut later this month when she joins the West End cast of Chicago. She’s now confirmed to star as murderess Roxie Hart in the multi award-winning Kander and Ebb musical at the Adelphi Theatre, performing for a limited nine-week season from 26 April to 25 June 2005.
Shields has appeared on Broadway in Wonderful Town, Grease, The Exonerated and Cabaret, though she’s best known for her screen roles, as a teenager in the 1970s and 80s, in the likes of Pretty Baby, Endless Love, King of the Gypsies and The Blue Lagoon. More recently, a guest appearance on Friends led to her own TV sitcom, Suddenly Susan.
Ahead of Shields, Josefina Gabrielle will play Roxie Hart, taking over from Jill Halfpenny, from 11 to 25 April 2005 (returning to temporarily fill in for Shields from 3 to 13 May). Anna Montanaro continues as fellow murderess Velma Kelly until 7 May, when she’ll be replaced by Charley Izabella King, who's just appeared as Ulla in The Producers for the US national tour and on Broadway (and who previously starred in West End productions of Crazy for You and Grease and in Singin' in the Rain at Leicester Haymarket, under the name Helen Way).
In Chicago, Michael French, Robert Hands and Zee Asha will continue in the roles of lawyer Billy Flynn, husband Amos Hart and prison matron Mama Morton, respectively, in the musical, set in murderous 1920s Chicago.
Chicago, based on the play by Maurine Dallas Watkins, has a book by Fred Ebb and Bob Fosse, music by John Kander and lyrics by Fred Ebb. Scenic design is by John Lee Beatty, costumes by William Ivey Long, lighting by Ken Billington and sound by Rick Clarke. The production is choreographed by Ann Reinking in the style of Bob Fosse and directed by Walter Bobbie.
The musical opened at the West End's Adelphi Theatre in November 1997 and went on to win the 1998 Olivier for Outstanding Musical Production and the 1998 Critics Circle Award for Best Musical. Chicago is currently booking until 3 December 2005. From 6 June 2005, top-price tickets will rise to £45 (currently £42.50), with the lowest price set at £17.50 (currently £15).
- by Terri Paddock