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Cuba Gooding Jr cast in Chicago at the Phoenix Theatre

Friday, 12th Jan 2018  

There’s big news coming from the West End today as it is revealed that Cuba Gooding Jr, the Hollywood actor known for films like Jerry Maguire, Selma and The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story, will be stepping into the role of Billy Flynn in the Phoenix Theatre’s revival of Chicago.

This is unexpected news for a show that was already getting plenty of attention thanks to its pedigree as one of the most famous musicals in the world. It will be the first time that the show has been seen in the West End since 2012.

Whilst more casting is forthcoming, the presence of Cuba Gooding Jr will ensure plenty of interest for something that was already on the top of theatregoers’ lists. He joins a host of top Hollywood names to appear in the West End in recent years, with others including Ed Harris, Rebel Wilson, Christian Slater, Kelsey Grammer and Matthew Perry, amongst others.

For Chicago he plays the sleazy lawyer Billy Flynn, whom the main characters meet when they are making their bid for freedom. Those characters are Roxie Hart and Velma Kelly, the former thrown in prison for the murder of her husband and the latter for killing her husband and sister. Set in the 1920s when the concept of the ‘celebrity criminal’ was a big thing, they have found themselves in the spotlight for the wrong reasons, but hope Billy Flynn can turn them in the right direction.

The enormously successful actor Cuba Gooding Jr has appeared in a wealth of films and television shows, whilst also making his way to the stage on the other side of the Atlantic (though Chicago will mark his first West End appearance). In addition to the films mentioned previously, he has also appeared in the likes of American Gangster, As Good As It Gets, Pearl Harbour and episodes of shows like American Horror Story and Empire. His previous stage credit, meanwhile, is The Trip To Bountiful at the Stephen Sondheim Theatre on Broadway.

And now he will add Chicago at the Phoenix Theatre to that list as he steps into the role of Billy Flynn when that show opens on Monday 26th March 2018.

Chris Packer
Chris Packer Chris Packer has been writing about the West End for many years and wishes this knowledge would help him win some pub quizzes. When he’s not writing about the newest shows he’s probably watching films or anticipating the latest releases.

Article filed under: Theatre News | New Productions |