By Aneesah Dryver –
Passionate. Resilient. Cunning. These are all words that can be associated with Roxie Hart, sexy siren who stops at nothing for that sweet taste of fame—even if it means committing murder.
Now, Michelle Williams (formerly of mega girl group Destiny’s Child) will bring Roxie Hart to life again in the musical of CHICAGO at the Pantages Theatre in Los Angeles. “I see a little bit of Roxie in myself,” says Michelle, who is the first African-American woman to play Roxie, “she always gets what she wants—even though she doesn’t always go about it the right way,” Michelle adds.
“My family spoils me. If I want some neck bones, macaroni and cheese, whatever—I got it.” she laughs.
Michelle began playing Roxie Hart for the West End production in London before she made her way back across the pond to reprise her role.
Although preparing for Roxie, learning her lines and acting the scenes out, was not the challenging part, Michelle says rehearsals “kicked my butt. I was getting my work out on! But I chose to play the role of Roxie because I felt like I could have so much fun with her character.” Plus, Roxie’s cute. “She’s a little doll,” Michelle says. “I do love Velma, but Velma is more of a diva.”
Michelle isn’t some novice in the Broadway world; she has toured with Fantasia and LaToya London playing the role of Shug Avery in The Color Purple musical. “What I like about Shug Avery,” Michelle says, “is that her yes was yes and her no was no.”
Singing in a musical is a lot more restricted than singing Gospel, Michelle says.
“Sometimes less is more and you really get your point across.” As far as any upcoming projects, Michelle just wants to focus on acting right now. There may be new music next year, TV, and film.” In the future, she’d like to work with the legendary Denzel Washington, Kerry Washington and others. When asked about all of her Broadway success, Michelle simply says, “I’ve been blessed.”
CHICAGO will be showing at the Pantages Theatre in Los Angeles from April 20th-May 9th.
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