‘Chicago’ to welcome trans actor Angelica Ross as Roxie Hart
“Pose” star Angelica Ross is set to make her Broadway debut in “Chicago” this fall, becoming the first openly transgender actress to play murderess Roxie Hart in the long-running musical.
Ross, whose credits also include American Horror Story: 1984, will begin an eight-week run beginning Sept. 12 at the Ambassador Theatre.
She will join a Broadway that is opening its arms to transgender actors. In 2018, “Ru Paul’s Drag Race” star Peppermint became the first openly trans woman to play a lead role on Broadway, starring in the Go-Go Jukebox musical “Head Over Heels.” This spring, Elle Morgan Lee made history as the first openly transgender person to be nominated for an award, winning a Tony Award for her work as a featured actress in the musical “The Strange Ring.”
Set in the 1920s, “Chicago” is a scathing satire of how show business and the media make celebrities out of criminals. It features Bob Fosse-inspired choreography, short dresses, and killer hits like “All That Jazz” and “Cell Block Tango.”
Hart tells the story of a housewife and dancer who kills her lover after he threatens to leave her. To avoid conviction, he hires Chicago’s sharpest criminal lawyer to help him outwit Velma Kelly by creating shocking headlines, the public, the media, and his rival cellmate.
Other prominent Broadway actors who identify as trans include Alexandra Billings in “The Nap,” Becca Blackwell in “It’s a Room,” and Kate Bornstein and Ty Defoe in “Straight White Men.”
The famous Chicago heroine has been played by dozens of women since the show opened in 1996, including Melanie Griffiths, Christie Brinkley, Marilou Henner, Brooke Shields, Lisa Rinna, Gretchen Mol, Ashlee Simpson, Brandi. Norwood, Jennifer Nettles and Robin Givens Pamela Anderson made headlines earlier this year for her role as Roxy.
Mark Kennedy is at http://twitter.com/KennedyTwits