Cuba Gooding, Jr. will make his West End debut in Chicago

Academy Award winner Cuba Gooding, Jr. is set to star as Billy Flynn in the West End revival of Chicago at the Phoenix Theatre. 

Cuba Gooding, Jr. as Billy Flynn

It's official! Academy Award winner Cuba Gooding Jr. will make his UK stage debut, taking on the iconic role of Billy Flynn in the upcoming West End revival of Chicago at the Phoenix Theatre from March 26.

Gooding Jr. previously made his Broadway debut in the 2013 revival of Horton Foote's The Trip to Bountiful. He is, of course, best known for his Oscar-winning performance as Rod Tidwell in the 1996 classic "Jerry Maguire" and also earned an Emmy Award nomination for his portrayal of O.J. Simpson in "American Crime Story" in 2016. Other film credits include "Radio," "Men of Honor," "Boyz n the Hood," "Selma," "American Gangster," "Pearl Harbor," "A Few Good Men," and "Gladiator".

Additional casting for the production will be announced shortly.

Chicago, which has music by John Kander, lyrics by Fred Ebb, and a book by Ebb and Bob Fosse, is about Roxie Hart and Velma Kelly who rise to fame as their murder trials capture the press’ attention. It is based on Maurine Dallas Watkins’ 1926 play of the same name which is about crimes she reported on as a journalist.

The production first opened on Broadway in 1975, running for 936 performances, and was first seen in the West End in 1979 at the Cambridge Theatre. It starred Jenny Logan, Ben Cross and Antonia Ellis, with the latter two receiving Olivier Award nominations for their roles. The musical was revived in 1997 and ran at the Adelphi Theatre for nine years before transferring to the Cambridge Theatre. Over the course of its run, the musical starred David Hasselhoff, Marti Pellow, John Barrowman, Jill Halfpenny and Bonnie Langford.

Chicago was last seen on stage in London in 2016 featuring John Partridge, Sophie Carmen-Jones and Hayley Tamaddon.  It ran at the New Wimbledon Theatre as part of a nationwide tour.

Chicago Tickets are available now for performances through to 23 June 2018.

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