Archival PhotosLook Back at Chita Rivera and Gwen Verdon in Chicago on BroadwayThe original Broadway production opened June 3, 1975.
June 03, 2020
John Kander and Fred Ebb's Chicago first premiered on Broadway June 3, 1975, at the 46th Street (now Richard Rodgers) Theatre. Bob Fosse, at the time a recent Tony winner for Pippin, directed and choreographed. Chita Rivera and Gwen Verdon led the cast as Velma Kelly and Roxie Hart, respectively, and Jerry Orbach played Billy Flynn.
The production received 11 Tony nominations, but won zero; competitor A Chorus Line took home nine awards that year. The show went on to play 936 performances.
Two decades later, Chicago returned to the same stage and a very different reception. The musical Clive Barnes deemed "cynical" and "caustic" earned critical and popular acclaim, winning six Tonys including Best Revival of a Musical. The hit revival is currently playing its 22nd year on Broadway, and is officially the longest-running American musical.
Flip through photos of the original production below:
Look Back at Chita Rivera and Gwen Verdon in Chicago on Broadway
In addition to Rivera, Verdon, and Orbach, the original Broadway cast featured Barney Martin as Amos, Mary McCarty as Mama Morton, and M. O'Haughey as Mary Sunshine. For a complete list of the opening night cast and crew, check out PlaybillVault.com/Chicago.