Pose star Angelica Ross, is making Broadway history, becoming the first out transgender performer to headline the Broadway production of Chicago.
Ross will take over the role of Roxie Hart in the long-running musical for eight weeks, from September 12 to November 6, at the Ambassador Theatre.
Ross took to Instagram to share her excitement saying, “The name on everybody’s lips is gonna be… ROXIE!”
“Thank you to everyone who has been sharing and celebrating this news with me. I am currently in rehearsals and coaching, working VERY hard everyday to give you my all and my best! Can’t wait to meet the whole cast and create magic with them! See you all on Broadway soon,” Ross said.
Pose producer Steven Canals tweeted, “Congratulations to the trailblazing and incredibly talented, intelligent, funny, & beautiful Angelica Ross who is going to make her Broadway debut on #Chicago!!!”
Chicago’s official Instagram page also celebrated Ross’ casting saying, “The name on everybody’s lips is going to be…ANGELICA.”
Lana Gordon, who plays Velma Kelly, commented on the post saying, “Wow!!!!!!,” while other celebrities including Todrick Hall, Lisa Rinna and Erich Bergen who plays Billy Flynn also sent messages of congratulations.
Out Academy Award winner Arian DeBose also offered her congratulations to Ross on Twitter, with a set of applause emojis.
Ross has been busy of late. Coming off her star making work as Candy Ferocity in Pose, Ross has recently released her debut single Only You as well as an accompanying music video.
Making Television History
Ross made television history when she became the first out transgender actor to star in two consecutive seasons of Ryan Murphy’s long running American Horror Story; 1984 and Double Feature.
Ross is also the founder of TransTech Social Enterprises, which promotes and empowers LGBTQ talent, in particular, people who identify as transgender. The aim of TransTech is to improve socio-economic and employment opportunities for marginalized people. Ross is also an active campaigner for trans rights.
The casting of Ross follows the historic Tony nomination on May 9 for L Morgan Lee who became the first out transgender actor to receive a nomination.
Lee’s nomination for Actress in a Featured Role in a Musical came for her work in the Pulitzer Prize winning musical A Strange Loop, which also received the most Tony nominations for a musical.
Lee and Ross are part o a small group of out trans actors to appear in principle roles in a Broadway production including Alexandra Billings (Wicked), Peppermint (Head Over Heels), Kate Borstein and Ty Defoe (Straight White Men), and Becca Blackwell (Is This A Room).
Since the premiere of the revival of Chicago debuted in 1996, the musical has been staged in 36 countries and had an estimated audience of over 33 million people worldwide.
With just over 10,000 performances, Chicago now ranks as the longest running musical revival and the second-longest running show in Broadway history following The Phantom of the Opera.
Other performers to have taken on the role of murderess Roxie Hart, include Pamela Anderson who recently trod the boards for eight weeks, starting in April.
Renee Zellweger played the role to great acclaim in the 2002 film and the legendary Gwen Verdon who originated the role in the 1975 production of Chicago on Broadway, which garnered Verdon a Tony nomination for Best Actress in a Musical.
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