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‘Chicago’ will feature trans actress Angelica Ross as Roxie Hart

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NEW YORK (AP) Pose star Angelica Ross is set to make her Broadway debut in Chicago this fall, becoming the first openly transgender actor to play murderous vixen Roxie Hart in the long-running musical.

Ross, whose credits also include American Horror Story: 1984, will begin an eight-week tour beginning Sept. 12 at the Ambassador Theater.

Angelica Ross appears at the Creative Arts Emmy Awards in Los Angeles on Sept. 11, 2021. (Photo by Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP, File)

She will join a Broadway that is beginning to open its arms to transgender actors. In 2018, Ru Pauls Drag Race star Peppermint became the first openly trans woman to land a lead role on Broadway, starring in the Go-Gos jukebox musical Head Over Heels. This spring, L Morgan Lee made history as the first openly transgender person to be nominated and win a Tony Award for her work as a featured actress in the musical A Strange Loop.

Set in the 1920s, Chicago is a scathing satire of how show business and the media make celebrities out of criminals. It has Bob Fosse-inspired choreography, skimpy outfits, and killer songs like All That Jazz and Cell Block Tango.

It tells the story of Hart, a housewife and dancer who murders her lover after he threatens to leave her. To avoid conviction, she hires Chicago’s most skilled criminal attorney to help her fool the public, the media, and her rival cellmate, Velma Kelly, by creating shocking headlines.

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Other leading actors and Broadway stars who have identified as trans include Alexandra Billings in The Nap, Becca Blackwell in Is This a Room, and Kate Bornstein and Ty Defoe in Straight White Men.

The star-hungry heroine at the heart of “Chicago” has been played by dozens of women since the show opened in 1996, including Melanie Griffith, Christie Brinkley, Marilu Henner, Brooke Shields, Lisa Rinna, Gretchen Mol, Ashlee Simpson , Brandy Norwood , Jennifer Nettles and Robin Givens. Pamela Anderson made headlines earlier this year when she played Roxie.

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