Pose and American Horror Story star Angelica Ross will play Roxie Hart in the Broadway production of Chicago.
Ross, 41, will make her debut on 12 September, and playing a limited run until 6 November. She’s the first trans woman to play the iconic role on Broadway, and joins a small group of trans actors to have played major roles in the famed theatre district.
The casting choice has been praised by LGBTQ+ folk and theatre fans, with one Twitter user saying Ross’s role is the “most brilliant casting choice… in ages”.
Anthony Allen Ramos, GLAAD vice president of communications and talent, said in a statement: “Chicago‘s Roxie Hart is one of the most recognisable, iconic, and beloved characters in the history of Broadway, and a true talent like Angelica Ross will delight audiences with her impressive acting, singing and performance skills.
“Angelica is also a respected leader in the transgender community, and joins L. Morgan Lee as trans women of colour currently starring on Broadway.”
Ross will appear in Chicago from 12 September at the Ambassadors Theatre and tickets are available from ticketmaster.com.
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L. Morgan Lee recently made history as the first openly trans person to receive a Tony Award nomination, for her performance in A Strange Loop. Drag Race’s Peppermint was the first known trans woman to originate a lead Broadway role, in Head Over Heels.
— Chicago The Musical (@ChicagoMusical) August 4, 2022
Angelica Ross said that while she wished she could celebrate, news that queer basketball star Brittney Griner had been sentenced to prison in Russia on drug charges had left her with “mixed feelings”.
“I want to celebrate being on Broadway, but I don’t feel like celebrating with Brittney Griner sentenced to nine years in prison. This world is messed up. She doesn’t deserve this,” Ross said on Twitter.
Griner, a 31-year-old US Olympian, was sentenced to nine years in prison, and given a fine of one million rubles, after security at an airport near Moscow found two vape cartridges of cannabis oil in her luggage in February.
“I never meant to hurt anybody, I never meant to put in jeopardy the Russian population, I never meant to break any laws here,” Griner said before the verdict.
“I made an honest mistake and I hope that in your ruling that it doesn’t end my life here.”
Her lawyers have criticised the decision, and pledged to “certainly file an appeal”.