Two-time RuPaul’s Drag Race winner Jinkx Monsoon makes her Broadway debut in the Tony-winning revival of Chicago beginning January 16 at the Ambassador Theatre.
Monsoon steps into the role of Matron "Mama" Morton for an eight-week limited engagement through March 12, becoming the first drag queen to play the role on Broadway.
“I cannot stress enough that this has been a lifelong dream of mine,” said Monsoon in an earlier statement. “To be making my Broadway debut, as my favorite role, in one of my favorite shows—that lifelong dream is coming true and then some. The first number I performed in drag was 'All That Jazz,' so this feels almost too serendipitous. But I never question my blessings, I just thank Hecate for them.”
Monsoon recently toured with the acclaimed theatrical spectacular, The Jinkx & DeLa Holiday Show, co-starring with her best friend and fellow drag star, BenDeLaCreme.
James T. Lane, who was seen in the Broadway and London productions of The Scottsboro Boys, also joins the cast of the Tony-winning revival of Chicago January 16.
Lane, who has also been seen on Broadway in Kiss Me, Kate; King Kong the Musical; and A Chorus Line as well as in the national tours of Ain’t Too Proud and Jersey Boys, takes over the role of smooth-talking lawyer Billy Flynn.
The current cast of Chicago also features Charlotte d’Amboise as Roxie Hart, Lana Gordon as Velma Kelly, Evan Harrington as Amos Hart, and R. Lowe as Mary Sunshine.
The company also includes David Bushman, Christine Cornish, Jennifer Dunne, Jessica Ernest, Jeff Gorti, Arian Keddell, Mary Claire King, Marty Lawson, Joseph London, Barrett Martin, Sharon Moore, Drew Nellessen, Celina Nightengale, Brian O'Brien, Denny Paschall, Jermaine R. Rembert, Rachel Schur, and Michael Scirrotto.
The revival of Chicago began life as one of the three annual Encores! presentations offered by City Center. The musical opened on Broadway at the Richard Rodgers Theatre in November 14, 1996, where it remained through February 1997. The musical transferred to the Shubert Theatre, and played that house through January 26, 2003. The revival reopened at the Ambassador Theatre January 29 that year.
Since its debut in 1996, Chicago has played in 36 countries and been seen by 33 million people worldwide. It is now the second-longest running show in Broadway history (after The Phantom of the Opera).
READ: How the Chicago Costumes Have Evolved Over 25 Years
With a book by the late Fred Ebb and Bob Fosse, music by John Kander, and lyrics by Ebb, Chicago features direction by Walter Bobbie, choreography by the late Ann Reinking, set design by John Lee Beatty, costume design by William Ivey Long, lighting design by Ken Billington, sound design by Scott Lehrer, and casting by Stewart/Whitley.
The current production, produced by Barry and Fran Weissler, won the Tony Award for Best Revival of a Musical in 1997 as well as awards for actors Bebe Neuwirth and James Naughton, director Bobbie, lighting designer Billington, and Reinking. The original production was directed and choreographed by the late Fosse.