And now ladies and gentlemen, the keeper of the keys! Tony winner Bebe Neuwirth begins performances as Matron "Mama" Morton in the Tony-winning revival of Chicago on January 14. Neuwirth, who will play an eight-week engagement as the Mistress of Murderers Row, won a Tony for her performance as Velma Kelly in 1997, and returned as merry murderess Roxie Hart in 2007. She takes over for Roz Ryan, who played her final performance on January 12.
Set in the 1920s, Chicago follows Roxie Hart, a housewife and nightclub dancer who murders her on-the-side lover. Desperate to avoid conviction, she hires Billy Flynn, Chicago's slickest criminal lawyer, much to the dismay of her rival cellmate Velma Kelly. Directed by Walter Bobbie, the Tony-winning revival is now in its 17th year.
Neuwirth also received a Tony for her performance in 1986's Sweet Charity. Her other Broadway credits include The Addams Family, Fosse, A Chorus Line, Little Me, Dancin' and Damn Yankees. Neuwirth's film and TV credits include her two-time Emmy Award-winning performance as Dr. Lilith Sternin in Cheers and Frasier, Wild Palms, Dash and Lily, Law & Order: Trial by Jury, Bored to Death, Green Card, Summer of Sam, Celebrity, Liberty Heights, Bugsy, Jumanji, The Faculty, Adopt a Sailor, The Paint Job and Fame.
The revival of Chicago currently stars Bianca Marroquin as Roxie Hart, Amra-Faye Wright as Velma Kelly, Ryan Silverman as Billy Flynn, Tony nominee Christopher Fitzgerald as Amos Hart and R. Lowe as Mary Sunshine.