Chicago & Altman Head Out on Major UK TourDate: 12 July 2001
The international hit musical Chicago embarks on its first UK tour later this year, starring John Altman, Jane Fowler and Amra-Faye Wright. The touring production, which runs concurrently with the West End production at London's Adelphi Theatre, opens at Manchester Opera House on 14 September 2001 and is expected to continue into 2002.
The West End production opened at the Adelphi on 18 November 1997 and has played to sold-out audiences for much of its duration. Chicago won the 1998 Olivier for Outstanding Musical Production and also the Critics' Circle Best Musical Award in the same year. Other versions are currently playing in New York, across the United States and in Buenos Aires, with a Dusseldorf opening expected in the autumn.
Altman, known to TV audiences as EastEnders' Nick Cotton, is to play the role of Billy Flynn. Apart from his prolific television career, his theatre work includes Oliver, Carousel, Little Tramp and Oh What a Night. Jane Fowler will play Roxie Hart, and her previous works include versions of Spend Spend Spend, Crazy For You and Sweet Charity. Velma Kelly will be played by cabaret singer and dancer Amra-Faye Wright, who has performed in numerous revues and won an FBN Vita award for Elvis Las Vegas Extravaganza.
The story is based on the play by Maurine Dallas Watkins, and concerns two nightclub singers who become embroiled in murder. The music is by John Kander with lyrics from Fred Ebb, and musical supervision is provided by Rob Fisher. Choreography is courtesy of Ann Reinking in the style of Bob Fosse.
Following the Manchester run, the Chicago tour will call at Bristol, Birmingham, Edinburgh, Sunderland and Oxford. This will take the schedule through to early January 2002, with the strong possibility of further dates to follow.
- by Gareth Thompson