Monday, April 22, 2024

Broadway: Oscar Winner Cuba Gooding Jr. Coming to “Chicago,” Beloved Tony Winner Laura Benanti is “My Fair Lady”


The fall season on Broadway just got a lot more exciting.

Oscar winner Cuba Gooding Jr. is joining “Chicago” on October 6th for a limited run as Billy Flynn. Cuba has gotten rave reviews playing Billy Flynn in London’s West End. This is a nice break for him from movies and TV (he just came off his Emmy nominated role as OJ Simpson).

Cuba has the pipes! You may not know this but his late father Cuba Gooding Sr. was the lead singer of The Main Ingredient, the wonderful 70s R&B group that had hits like “Everybody Plays the Fool” and “Just Don’t Want to Be Lonely.”

He also has the swagger. I can’t believe I’m going back to see “Chicago” again– I went this year to see the great Valerie Simpson– but I won’t miss Cuba Gooding Jr. His run is only for six weeks.

More good news: beloved Tony winner and Broadway star Laura Benanti is taking over the role of Eliza in “My Fair Lady” from October through February in the Lincoln Center production. Lauren Ambrose is leaving to do a TV series. Benanti won a Tony in 2008 for “Gypsy,” and has four other nominations including one for “She Love Me,” which she should have won, frankly. Maybe now I’ll be given press tickets. It would be loverly! 

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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