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.