'Chicago' Comes to the Billboard on Broadway Video Series

Jeremy Daniel
Charlotte d’Amboise as Roxie Hart in Chicago

One of the longest running musicals in Broadway history, the Tony-winning production of Kander and Ebb’s Chicago is currently celebrating its 20th anniversary on the Great White Way, and a few of its current stars dropped by the Billboard on Broadway Tonys video series to perform its still-classic songs.

Two of the performers — Broadway veteran Charlotte d’Amboise, who plays Roxie Hart, and Raymond Bokhour, who plays Roxie’s hapless husband Amos — have come in and out of the production many times over the years. “You always hear something going on you hadn’t noticed before,” Bokhour says of returning to Chicago’s music on so many occasions. “Musically and lyrically, it’s just so alive.” “Every song is brilliant,” d’Amboise adds. “It’s a dream come true for any actress.”

Chicago, which tells the story of Velma Kelly and Roxie Hart —“merry murderesses” who become the stars of tabloid-catnip trials in 1920s Chicago — first debuted on Broadway, in an iconic production directed and choreographed by Bob Fosse, in 1975 (the subsequent film All That Jazz, inspired in part by Fosse’s work on the musical, is named for one of its biggest numbers). The current revival first came to Broadway in 1996 and ended up winning six Tony awards the following year, including best musical revival. That success in turn inspired the Oscar-winning 2002 film, which won Best Picture. 

D’Amboise first performs “Funny Honey,” Roxie’s solo in which, as d’Amboise puts it, “I’ve just shot my lover and I’m singing to my dear, sweet husband, who is so gullible and adorable;” Lana Gordon, who plays Velma, joins her to sing an arrangement of their closing duet “Nowadays.” NaTasha Yvette Williams, who plays the Cook County jail matron-with-attitude Mama Morton, performs her big Act 1 number “When You’re Good to Mama,” in which she explains the system of reciprocity she’s willing to engage in with her inmates. And Bokhour sings “Mr. Cellophane,” pitiable Amos’ one big moment in the spotlight. 

Chicago is currently playing at the Ambassador Theatre.

The American Theatre Wing’s 71st Annual Tony Awards will air live from Radio City Music Hall on the CBS Television Network on Sunday, June 11, 2017 (8:00-11:00 PM, ET/delayed PT). The Tony Awards, which honors theatre professionals for distinguished achievement on Broadway, has been broadcast on CBS since 1978. The Tony Awards are presented by The Broadway League and the American Theatre Wing. The nominations for the 2017 Tony Awards will be announced live on May 2, 2017, from New York City. For more information, visit TonyAwards.com and Facebook.com/TheTonyAwards and follow @TheTonyAwards on Instagram, Twitter and Snapchat.