‘Pose’ star Angelica Ross on making Broadway history with ‘Chicago’

‘Pose’ star Angelica Ross on making Broadway history with 'Chicago'

Angelica Ross is bringing a new kind of razzle and dazzle to Broadway.

The “Pose” star is making history as the first transgender actress to portray Roxie Hart in “Chicago.” She starts her limited run at Broadway’s Ambassador Theatre on Monday. And she’s still ecstatic about it.

“It’s just going better than I had imagined but I will be honest and say that I was pretty excited from the notion of doing this,” she told the Daily Newst. “I come from a musical theater background … but it’s been a while since I’ve done this kind of this level of theater, live theater.”

The Kenosha, Wis., native referred to her casting as the “Teen Angel” in a local production of “Grease” as “serendipitous” after white directors said the idea came when they saw a Black man portray the character on Broadway.

That man just so happened to be Billy Porter, the originator of the role in Tommy Tune’s 1994 Broadway adaptation of the 1978 John Travolta-Olivia Newton John hit movie musical.

“It wasn’t until I got on the set of ‘Pose’ and was talking about things that I realized that person was Billy Porter. I was like, ‘Billy, do you realize that you have influenced my career from the beginning? Like just the path that you have paved for us?’ I’m just forever grateful for him for doing that work unrecognized,” she said.

See also  Original Sin’? His Identity Is Angela’s Brother – Hollywood Life

Ross and Porter would make television history on “Pose,” the Steven Canals, Brad Falchuk and Ryan Murphy-produced series about New York City’s underground ballroom scene of the 1980s and ‘90s. The gritty drama featured the largest cast of transgender actors in series regular roles, as well as the largest LGBTQ+ cast for a scripted series.

Angelica Ross

In the role of Candy Johnson-Ferocity, Ross amplified the plight of darker-skinned trans women within the community. For her work and visibility, she has been honored by GLAAD, the Human Rights Campaign and the Transgender National Alliance.

Ross is not alone in making trans history in theater.

The Daily News Flash

The Daily News Flash


Catch up on the day’s top five stories every weekday afternoon.

Miss Peppermint, a “RuPaul’s Drag Race” runner-up, was recognized as the first trans woman actress to originate a principal role in the 2018 Broadway jukebox musical “Head Over Heels.” Earlier this year, “A Strange Loop” breakout star L Morgan Lee made history as the first openly transgender actress to be nominated for a Tony Award.

“It’s amazing to be coming in that lineage of all of those who have come before me, but to also step into new territory that still needs to be broken up a little bit,” Ross said.

Calling it a “pioneering” moment, she said: “I’m definitely here to celebrate it, but I’m here to kick the door down for more people, not just trans people, but also disabled folks, folks with different body types, that we just really start to think outside the box. It feels great to be kind of pioneering this moment.”

See also  Ulta Skincare Deals Starting at $13: Josie Maran, Cover FX & More

Angelica Ross

Although the Roxie Hart role has been mostly portrayed by white, blond women throughout the show’s record-breaking Broadway run, Ross, 41, still finds a connection to the cunning chorine in “Chicago.” She will star in “Chicago” until Nov. 6.

“To me, Roxie is one of the girls,” she said. “It doesn’t matter whether you’re cis or trans … when you find yourself amongst other women who understand that they’re also navigating a patriarchal playing field, you realize that we’re all we got, in a sense.”

The practicing Buddhist has also received some unexpected guidance from another groundbreaking actress who shook things up with the Roxie role years before: Brandy Norwood.

“I’ve been DM-ing back and forth with Brandy, she’s been giving me tips,” Ross said. “She’s so sweet. She’s amazing.”

By californianews_gkdgq8

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Related Posts