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Guide to Chicago on Broadway

In Chicago, Broadway gets showgirls, jazz and murder, giving New York theater fans the ole razzle-dazzle

Photograph: Jeremy Daniel

Chicago, Broadway's longest running American musical, was a modest hit when it opened in 1975, in a slinky and sardonic production directed by Bob Fosse with his signature fractured-burlesque aplomb. But this sexy, cynical musical by Fosse and the Cabaret team of John Kander and Fred Ebb—which filters the tabloid tale of a 1920s murder trial through a smeared lens of vaudeville showmanship—was overshadowed at the time by the runaway success of A Chorus Line. It was not until Chicago’s 1996 concert revival at City Center’s Encores! series that the musical became a sensation. Preserving the sleek presentational style of director Walter Bobbie’s Encores! staging (and choreographed in Fosse fashion by the auteur’s erstwhile muse, Ann Reinking), the revival moved to the Great White Way in 1997 and has sizzled there ever since, nabbing the Tony Award for best revival. It has now surpassed A Chorus Line to become the longest-running American show in Broadway history. An Oscar-winning 2002 movie musical version has added to its appeal to tourists, as has the canny celebrity-casting strategy of producers Barry and Fran Weissler. In addition to musical-theater veterans—like original cast members Reinking, Bebe Neuwirth and Joel Grey—countless stars have twinkled across its stage in limited engagements, including Melanie Griffith, Patrick Swayze, Brooke Shields, Billy Ray Cyrus and Usher. If some of the production’s razzle-dazzle has inevitably dimmed with age, the constant influx of appealing chorus boys and girls keeps this classic pumping along.

What is Chicago?

Chicago is a musical with a book by Fred Ebb and Bob Fosse, music by John Kander and lyrics by Fred Ebb. It is directed by Walter Bobbie. It began previews on October 23, 1996 and opened on November 14, 1996.

Where is Chicago playing?

Chicago plays at Broadway's Ambassador Theatre located at 219 W 49th St between Broadway and Eighth Avenue in Manhattan. You can get there by subway by taking the C and E to 50th St; the N and R to 49th St; or the 1 to 50th St.

When is Chicago playing?

Chicago plays eight times a week, on the following schedule: Monday at 8pm; Tuesday at 8pm; Thursday at 8pm; Friday at 8pm; Saturday at 2:30 and 8pm; and Sunday at 2:30 and 7pm.

How do I get tickets to Chicago?

Tickets to Chicago are sold online by Telecharge. They can also be purchased by phone (212-239-6200) or in person at the Ambassador Theatre box office. Tickets cost $49.50 to $149. Rush tickets (limit two per customer) cost $37 and available at the box office only, when the box office opens (usually at noon). Rush tickets are not available for Saturday evenings. Standing-room tickets cost $27 and are available at the box office, on the day of performance, only when the performance is sold out.

 

How long is Chicago?

The running time of Chicago is two hours and 30 minutes with one intermission.

Who is in Chicago on Broadway?

The cast of Chicago is frequently changing and rotating, so it’s best to check the website in advance to see what the current lineup is.

Chicago opening night cast and crew

• Ann Reinking as Roxie Hart
• Bebe Neuwirth as Velma Kelly
• Joel Grey as Amos Hart
• James Naughton as Billy Flynn
• Marcia Lewis as Matron "Mama" Morton
• David Sabella-Mills as Mary Sunshine
• Michael Berresse as Fred Casely
• Jim Borstelmann as The Judge
• Caitlin Carter as Mona
• Bruce Anthony Davis as Martin Harrison / Doctor
• Mamie Duncan-Gibbs as Annie
• Denise Faye as Liz
• David Warren-Gibson as Aaron
• Michael Kubala as Sergeant Fogarty / Juror
• Mary Ann Lamb as June
• John Mineo as Court Clerk / Bailiff
• Tina Paul as Hunyak
• Rocker Verastique as Harry
• Leigh Zimmerman as Go-To-Hell-Kitty
• Walter Bobbie - Director
• Fred Ebb and Bob Fosse - Book
• John Kander - Music
• Fred Ebb - Lyrics
• Bob Fosse - Original Production Direction and Choreography
• Ann Reinking - Choreography in the Style of Bob Fosse
• John Lee Beatty - Scenic Design
• William Ivey Long - Costume Design
• Ken Billington - Lighting Design
• Scott Lehrer - Sound Design
• Barry & Fran Weissler, Kardana Productions, Hart Sharp Entertainment, PACE Theatrical Group, Inc. - Producers

Chicago awards

1997 Tony Awards

• Best Revival of a Musical
• Best Performance by a Leading Actor in a Musical - James Naughton
• Best Performance by a Leading Actress in a Musical - Bebe Neuwirth
• Best Direction of a Musical - Walter Bobbie
• Best Choreography - Ann Reinking
• Best Lighting Design - Ken Billington

1997 Drama Desk Awards

• Outstanding Revival of a Musical
• Outstanding Actress in a Musical - Bebe Neuwirth
• Outstanding Featured Actor in a Musical - Joel Grey
• Outstanding Choreography - Ann Reinking
• Outstanding Director of a Musical - Walter Bobbie
• Outstanding Lighting Design - Ken Billington

Comments

1 comments
Erica Starks Cannarozzi
Erica Starks Cannarozzi

I've seen Chicago a few times over the years and love it! It is also a favorite with NewYork60's customers, who are primarily non-English speaking travelers from around the world. Chicago is a Broadway legend!