CHICAGO REHEARSALS BEGIN WITH RAZZLE DAZZLEThe full cast of the 2009 Australian tour of the international hit musical Chicago met today for the first time as rehearsals began. Producer John Frost and his overseas creative team – Associate Director Nigel West, Re-creator of New York Production Choreography Gary Chryst and Supervising Music Director Rob Bowman – welcomed their stellar cast. John Frost said, “I’m thrilled to bring back to the Australian stage this amazing musical, especially with the extraordinary cast we have assembled. I know audiences will be blown away by our stellar leading performers, Caroline O’Connor, Sharon Millerchip, Craig McLachlan and Gina Riley, but also by the rest of the other incredibly talented performers who are joining them.”
“After many years of negotiating to get the rights for a revival of Chicago I’m very pleased to announce along with Barry and Fran Weissler of New York that we can bring back their stunning production of Chicago. In doing this I realised it had to be different from its previous incarnation in Australia. So I have unashamedly cast four of Australia’s greatest stars of musical theatre to give it that extra wow factor. When you see this production of Chicago you will be absolutely bowled over by the hot dynamics of this cast,” he said.
It is nearly a decade since the “story of murder, greed, corruption, violence, exploitation, adultery and treachery” played in Australia. Known for its sizzling score and sensational choreography, Chicago is winner of six Tony AwardsR, two Olivier Awards, a GrammyR and thousands of standing ovations. Chicago is Broadway’s longest-running Musical Revival and the longest running American Musical ever to play the West End.
Caroline O’Connor returns to the role of Velma Kelly, which she played across Australia ten years ago and on Broadway; Sharon Millerchip plays murdering nightclub chorus girl Roxie Hart, Craig McLachlan plays smooth-talking lawyer Billy Flynn, and Gina Riley as the “keeper of the keys”, Matron “Mama” Morton. Damien Bermingham plays Roxie’s downtrodden husband Amos Hart, and newcomer D.C. Harlock plays tabloid columnist Mary Sunshine.
The members of the Chicago ensemble are Sarah Bakker, Amy Berrisford, Rohan Browne, Chris Dair, Hope De Vaney, Steven Grace, Nick Jones, Caroline Kaspar, Christopher Parsons, Nathan Pinnell, Kelly Power, Eve Prideaux, Simone Sault, Daniel Slater, Michelle Smitheram, Ryan Stuart and Dean Vince.
Chicago will be the first production to take centre stage in QPAC’s newly refurbished Lyric Theatre when it begins on 19 March 2009. Following the Brisbane season, Chicago will tour to the Lyric Theatre, Star City in Sydney, from 14 May, with other cities to follow.