It wouldn’t be a return to Broadway without all that jazz, and the accompanying guest roster of minor celebrities doing Fosse hands. Today, Chicago announced plans to resume performances at the Ambassador Theatre on Broadway on September 14. It’s the third show to announce a set return date since Governor Cuomo announced that performances could resume at full capacity on September 14 this Wednesday. The Phantom of the Opera, the first to announce, will be back October 22. The new pop musical Six, the second, will start performances September 17. That makes Chicago the show to claim the earliest return date so far, though the trio of juggernaut Broadway productions The Lion King, Hamilton, and Wicked are expected to make a joint return announcement next week.
When it returns, Chicago will be in its 25th year of performances on Broadway, making it the longest-running American musical and musical revival on Broadway. (The Phantom of the Opera, British and in its original run, is still Broadway’s longest-running show.) The musical has a book by Fred Ebb and Bob Fosse, music by John Kander, and lyrics by Ebb. Walter Bobbie directed the revival, which had choreography by the late Ann Reinking, who starred in the production’s 1996 opening-night cast alongside Bebe Neurwith. The show won six Tonys in 1997 including Best Musical Revival. In the decades since then, Chicago has somewhat infamously started to cycle through a collection of celebrities in its lead roles with varying degrees of success to keep ticket sales up. Last spring, The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills’s Erika Jayne was in the middle of her run as Roxie Hart when Broadway shut down. The production hasn’t announced casting for its September return, but it’s only a matter of time before it does an all-Housewives casting. Imagine the “Cell Block Tango”!