South African born triple threat Amra-Faye Wright is a Broadway fixture as Velma Kelly in Chicago The Musical, a role she has played worldwide to critical acclaim since 2001.
Image Supplied by Showtime Management
On holiday in South Africa from New York City where she has lived since 2009, Amra-Faye was approached by Hazel Feldman, Producer of the sensational musical Chicago The Musical to perform three shows only at Montecasino’s Teatro where the hit musical is on stage until 26 May.
Surprisingly, this award-winning West End and Broadway star agreed to join the highly acclaimed all-South African cast as a Special Guest Artist on Sunday, 12 May at 6pm and 8pm shows on Tuesday, 14 May and Thursday, 16 May, returning to the stage where she last performed the role of Velma Kelly in 2008. And the current Velma, the acclaimed star, Samantha Peo, has generously agreed to sharing the role with Amra for those few performances. In a strange twist – Samantha was originally “Roxie’ to Amra’s ‘Velma’ back in 2005 and 2008.
Regarded by many as SA’s “Charlize Theron” of Musical Theatre, Amra-Faye originally performed the leading role of Velma Kelly in the international production of Chicago The Musical staged in 2005 at the then known Johannesburg Civic Theatre and Artscape, Cape Town with an all-South African cast. In 2008 she reprised the role again in the second SA season of Chicago (again performing with an all SA cast) at Artscape and Montecasino’s Teatro. Samantha Peo plays the role of Velma Kelly in the international and SA touring production currently on stage at Montecasino until 26 May. Samantha previously played the role of Roxie Hart opposite Amra-Faye in the first two seasons of Chicago.
Amra reunites for the third time with fellow Chicago cast members Ilse Klink (Mama Morton), K J Haupt (Mary Sunshine) and ensemble members Tandi Gavin, Diani Gernandt and Ferdi Gernandt, who performed in all three previous seasons of this smash hit musical.
"I'm beyond thrilled to have the brief opportunity to perform in South Africa, especially because the first production of Chicago in 2005 was the catalyst for a career I could only have imagined before. I'm thankful for the chance to show my immense appreciation and indebtedness to Hazel Feldman and the Chicago family."
Amra-Faye continues to dazzle audiences year after year on Broadway as the triple threat, high kicking murderess, Velma Kelly, in Chicago. A role for which she is in demand on both sides of the Atlantic, both on Broadway and in Londonʼs West End, and which she has played in the UK, Europe, South Africa, and in 2010 in Japan, where she performed the role in Japanese. In 2005 she won both the Naledi Theatre & Fleur du Cap awards in South Africa for Best Actress for this role, and has performed it with numerous stars and celebrities such as Chandre Wilson, Huey Lewis, Jerry Springer, Christie Brinkley, among many others.
Amra-Faye’s performing career grew unconventionally from the farmlands of her native South Africa to the international stage. From Sun City to Monte Carlo and across Europe to the Far East, Amra-Faye starred in many musical revues in French, Italian, German, Korean and Japanese. Star appearances around the globe include the South African VIP Gala at the 2000 Sydney Olympics; 2007 World-Cup Rugby Gala with the Johannesburg Philharmonic; ABBA with Cape Town Philharmonic Orchestra. Other highlights have been performances at the Royal Albert Hall for Europride 2006 and the 10th anniversary performances of Chicago on Broadway and in the West End, directed by Walter Bobbie, Anne Reinking and Rob Fisher.
Amra lives with her South African-born musician husband, Heinrich Kruse in New York City. They met while working on Chicago The Musical in 2005.
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