Tuesday, June 18, 2024

Broadway Rock Bottom Hail Mary Pass: Pamela Anderson Joining Limping Musical “Chicago”


Broadway needs to fill seats, but this is ridiculous.

The long running musical, “Chicago,” has always relied on stunt casting for its various roles. Sometimes it worked — like when Christie Brinkley joined the cast and wowed audiences. And sometimes it doesn’t.

Now comes Pamela Anderson, a Celebrity with no musical background other than she could hum to ex husband Tommy’s Motley Crue “songs.” Anderson, famous for being Julian Assange’s jail buddy and having made a sex tape years ago, will join “Chicago” playing Roxie Hart.

I know it sounds funny and kitschy but it’s also embarrassing to all the great ladies who’ve played Roxie over the last 25 or so years. Right now that would be the amazing Charlotte D’Amboise. Tony winner James Monroe Inglehart is playing Billy Flynn. They must be gobsmacked.

“Chicago” gets a bad rap because the producers, Fran and Barry Weissler, are hosts to large swaths of international audiences that may not be fluent in English. The last time I visited the show, when the great Valerie Simpson guest starred as the prison matron, I was pretty much the only American in any direction, let alone New Yorker.

But with the pandemic, tourists are scarce. We have no numbers on “Chiccago,” but it can’t be easy over there. Who exactly would be attending at this point? So they need to stunt cast. Pamela Anderson from “Baywatch” no doubt has a big following of some kind. If the international tourists return, they’ll know who she is immediately. Meantime, Bob Fosse is turning in his grave.

The fun begins April 12th and lasts 8 weeks.

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedmanhttps://www.showbiz411.com
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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