Chicago: Longest-Running American Musical

Next week, on August 27, 2011, Chicago will become the longest-running American musical in Broadway history.

The show, which features a score by John Kander and Fred Ebb and a book by Ebb and Bob Fosse, will play its 6,138th performance on August 27, passing A Chorus Line for the fourth spot on the all-time Broadway longevity list and making it the longest-running American musical in Broadway history.

The shows holding the top three Broadway spots – The Phantom of the Opera, Cats, and Les Miserables – are all imports from Britain”.

“What a momentous occasion this is,” said Chicago producer Barry Weissler. “Of course we’re thrilled to take the number four position in the list of long-runners, but to also celebrate the fact that Chicago is now the longest-running American musical in Broadway history makes it all the more spectacular.

“This milestone would never have happened without the amazing group of people who’ve lent their talents and expertise to our production over the past 15 years – the phenomenal cast, crew, production team, stage managers, advertising and marketing executives, business managers, casting directors, ushers, musicians, dance captains…and the list goes on. And of course, our incredible and enthusiastic audiences. Over five million people have seen Chicago on Broadway to-date, and they just keep coming. It’s truly a phenomenon worth celebrating.”

Directed by Walter Bobbie and choreographed by Ann Reinking, the current production of Chicago opened on Broadway on November 14, 1996, playing at three different theatres to date during its Broadway tenure. The show picked up nine Tony nominations, winning seven, including Best Revival of a Musical, Best Direction of a Musical and Best Choreography. The show also features set design by John Lee Beatty, costume design by Ken Billington and sound design by Scott Lehrer.

So far, the revival of Chicago has run more than six times the length of the original Broadway production, which played for 936 performances between 1975 and 1977.

The Chicago revival will have to run another 68 weeks to pass Les Miserables and more than three years to overtake Cats. If The Phantom of the Opera, which is still running on Broadway after 23 years, were to close tomorrow, Chicago would have to run another nearly nine years to claim the title of Broadway’s longest-running show.