(Photo by Caitlin McNaney for Broadway.com)
Ana Villafañe is going to learn about all that jazz and more as she takes on the leading role of Roxie Hart in Chicago on Broadway. As previously announced, Chicago will resume performances at the Ambassador Theatre on September 14. It was recently announced that Bianca Marroquín will return to long-running musical as Velma Kelly with Tony winner Lillias White as Mama Morton.
Villafañe made her Broadway debut starring as Gloria Estefan in On Your Feet! and has several screen credits to her name, including Younger, New Amsterdam, Night Court, South Beach, Sunnyside and more.
Set amidst the razzle-dazzle decadence of the 1920s, Chicago is the story of Roxie Hart (Villafañe), a housewife and nightclub dancer who murders her on-the-side lover after he threatens to walk out on her. Desperate to avoid conviction, she dupes the public, the media and her rival cellmate, Velma Kelly (Marroquín), by hiring Chicago’s slickest criminal lawyer Billy Flynn to transform her malicious crime into a barrage of sensational headlines, the likes of which might just as easily be ripped from today’s tabloids.
Based on the play by Maurine Dallas Watkins, Chicago features a book by Fred Ebb and Bob Fosse, music by John Kander and lyrics by Ebb. The production features direction by Walter Bobbie, musical direction by Rob Fisher and choreography by Ann Reinking in the style of Fosse.
This production was nominated for eight 1997 Tony Awards and took home trophies for Best Revival, James Naughton and Bebe Neuwirth’s performances, Ken Billington’s lighting design, the late Ann Reinking’s choreography and Walter Bobbie’s direction.