Israeli singer Shiri Maimon is set to star in the Broadway production of the musical “Chicago,” according to Channel 10 TV.
A popular pop and R&B singer in Israel, Maimon first rose to fame when she came second in the first season of “A Star is Born” – Israel’s version of “American Idol” – in 2003.
The Broadway show will be Maimon’s first overseas production, though she did attract international attention for her performance at the Eurovision Song Contest in 2005. She finished fourth with the power ballad “Hasheket Shenishar” – which remains the best Israeli performance in the competition since Dana International won in 1998.
Maimon has released several albums and recently played the title role in the Andrew Lloyd Webber musical “Evita” at the Habima Theater in Tel Aviv. It was this performance that reportedly encouraged the producers of “Chicago” to reach out to her. She is also a judge on the TV show “X Factor Israel,” hosted by model Bar Refaeli.
“Chicago” was written by John Kander and Fred Ebb, with the book by Ebb and Bob Fosse. It premiered on Broadway in 1975, running for two years. It was then revived in 1996 – and has been playing ever since. It is the longest-running musical revival and the longest-running American musical, and is staged at the Ambassador Theatre.
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A movie version starring Renée Zellweger as Roxie, Catherine Zeta-Jones as Velma Kelly and Richard Gere as Billy Flynn won six Academy Awards in 2003, including for best picture.
The musical is based on a play of the same name written in 1926 and takes place in the Cook County Jail in Chicago. The story focuses on two women, Roxie and Velma, who have both been accused of murder. Some of Roxie’s best-known songs include “Funny Honey,” “We Both Reached For the Gun,” “My Own Best Friend” and “Nowadays.”
Maimon’s manager declined to comment for this article.