“Vanderpump Rules” star Ariana Madix will make her Broadway debut as Roxie Hart in “Chicago.”
She will play the blond-haired ingenue, the one whose name is on everybody’s lips, for an eight-week limited engagement from Jan. 29 through March 24 at the Ambassador Theatre.
Madix steps into a role previously played by Gwen Verdon and Ann Reinking. Musical theater chops have not been a requirement to play Roxie; the Broadway production has tended to lean into stunt casting over the years with Brooke Shields, Ashlee Simpson, Melanie Griffith, “Real Housewives of Beverly Hills” staple Erika Jayne and Pamela Anderson also bringing the ol’ razzle dazzle to the part.
The casting comes as Madix’s real life has played out in the headlines during the reality TV scandal dubbed the #Scandoval. In early March, she caught her long-time boyfriend Tom Sandoval cheating with one of her close friends and “Vanderpump” co-star, Raquel Leviss. In the aftermath, Madix has warmed up to the stage, recently competing on “Dancing With the Stars.” She also scored several brand endorsements, a Lifetime movie role and appeared as a guest on “Love Island.” Madix, who is 38 and from Florida, previously told Glamour magazine that she moved to New York City after college to be on Broadway. She spent years as a bartender and hostess before becoming a cast member on the Bravo series “Vanderpump Rules.”
With the recent “Phantom of the Opera” closure, “Chicago” is the longest-running musical on Broadway. The classic show, from Kander and Ebb/Bob Fosse, centers on Roxie Hart and Velma Kelly, two merry murderesses who try to leverage their celebrity as they await trial in jail. Director Rob Marshall adapted it for the screen with the 2002 Oscar-winning movie starring Renee Zellweger and Catherine-Zeta Jones.