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Valerie Simpson and Chaz Lamar Shepherd to Be Chicago's Next Mama Morton and Billy Flynn

The musical will welcome new cast members in March.

Valerie Simpson will join the cast of Chicago.
(photo provided by Boneau/Bryan-Brown)

Legendary singer-songwriter Valerie Simpson will be the next Matron "Mama" Morton of Broadway's Chicago, beginning March 12 at the Ambassador Theatre. The same day, Broadway vet Chaz Lamar Shepherd will join the company as Billy Flynn.

Simpson, who makes her Broadway debut, was half of the duo Ashford & Simpson, responsible for writing the classic tunes "Ain't No Mountain High Enough," "Reach Out and Touch Somebody's Hand," "I'm Every Woman," and "Solid." Shepherd made his Broadway debut in the original production of The Color Purple and is best known for playing John Hamilton on TV's 7th Heaven.

Featuring classic tunes by John Kander and Fred Ebb, Chicago tells the story of Roxie Hart, a nightclub dancer who murders her on-the-side lover after he threatens to walk out on her. Desperate to avoid conviction, she dupes the public, the media, and her rival cellmate, Velma Kelly, by hiring Chicago's slickest criminal lawyer to transform her crime into a barrage of sensational headlines. Recipient of six 1997 Tony Awards, the revival is directed by Walter Bobbie.

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