Chicago's Ariana Madix Is a Lifelong Playbill Collector | Playbill

Video Chicago's Ariana Madix Is a Lifelong Playbill Collector

The Broadway show's newest Roxie on how Dancing With the Stars was the perfect preparation for Fosse.

Although she's making her Broadway debut in the role of Roxie, Chicago's newest cast member, Ariana Madix, has been long acquainted with the bright lights of Broadway. The recent Dancing with the Stars finalist grew up performing in school theatre productions, listening to cast recordings on CD, and collecting Playbills. Madix even went on to study theatre in college before moving to New York City, dreaming of making her Broadway debut. 

"I keep every Playbill from every show. My mom has some of them framed," says Madix, noting that La Cage Aux Folles and Altar Boyz are amongst the collection.

Now, Madix is making that dream come true in a role that fits her perfectly; Roxie Hart is somewhat of an old-time reality star herself—and a bona fide dancer. Madix will play the role January 29–March 24 at the Ambassador Theatre. And despite how casting outside of the exiting pool of Broadway can elicit doubt and naysayers, Madix knows her roots. "I think it surprises people who maybe don't know me. But I think people who have known me for a long time remember me moving here and trying to make theatre my career. Ultimately, that's why I learned how to bartend!" says Madix, in reference to her breakout on the reality television series Vanderpump Rules, which centered on the staff at Lisa Vanderpump's restaurants and bars (where Madix worked on staff and became a fan favorite).

With her education and background in theatre, Madix was already up for the task of performing on Broadway. But she's especially grateful for her recent experience on Dancing with the Stars, which helped fine-tune her skills for picking up choreography at the drop of a hat. "You have to learn so much and so much detail so quickly. That was a really good bootcamp for learning," she says, while also noting that learning Bob Fosse's notorious dance style is a new challenge. "Now, it's taking it a step further, because the detail with Fosse is on another level."

Madix shares that she's most excited to bring her own take on the role to audiences, whether they've seen 10 different iterations of the character onstage, or this is their first time seeing a Broadway show. "That's what's so cool about this part: How many people have played her and what they've done with it. Every Roxie is a different Roxie," she says.

Watch Madix's interview with Playbill in the video above to learn how she scored student rush tickets (after graduating) to see the original production of Spring Awakeninghow she hopes Chicago impacts audiences, and more.

Ariana Madix photographed at 48 Lounge Heather Gershonowitz
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