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Q&A: Brandy Norwood, Star of ‘Chicago’

Category Actor Spotlight

|by Jeryl Brunner |

Brandy Norwood plays Roxie Hart in ‘Chicago’

On August 17, 2017, Brandy Norwood returned to Broadway for a special limited engagement playing Roxie Hart in Chicago at the Ambassador Theatre. Norwood first took on the jazzy role in 2015. She went on to reprise her performance in Los Angeles and Washington D.C. and received glowing critical acclaim. 

Brandy Norwood stars as Roxie Hart in 'Chicago' (Photo: Jason Bell)

Brandy Norwood stars as Roxie Hart in 'Chicago' (Photo: Jason Bell)

What qualities do you love about Roxie? 
Brandy Norwood: Roxie is every kind of emotion. She’s up and down. She’s crazy. She’s passionate. She’s funny. She’s bubbly and sexy. She wants to be a star. She wants to make all of her dreams come true. I can’t relate to all the stuff she does, but I can relate to her dreaming and wanting her dreams to come true.

Do you remember a key moment when you knew you had to be a performer? 
BN: From the time I was around seven, I knew I wanted to be a singer. When I was at a Little Richard concert, he called all these kids on the stage. He sang with all the kids. But I veered off and started waving to the crowd, blowing kisses and bowing. I saw myself as a star. I felt that it was my crowd out there. Even though it was Little Richard’s crowd. 

What is another dream role? 
Annie Oakley in Annie Get your Gun. I love the songs. I love the choreography. I just love the story. I want to feel how I sound singing those songs. I especially love, “Anything You Can Do I Can Do Better.”  

How exciting is it to come back to play Roxie? 
The joy is that it never gets old. It’s new every night. I just love this team of people. I was so embraced and welcomed by the company. They made me better because they have been on Broadway for years. They were really supportive of trying to bring me up to where they were. So that’s amazing. Also, all my teachers are great.

What does your daughter say about you playing Roxie? 
BN: My daughter is so proud because she has never seen me in this light. When she first saw me as Roxie, she cried. She said, ‘Mom, you were phenomenal.’ It was the first time she said that word about me. “Phenomenal” is my favorite word to this day, because she said it.

You have said that playing Roxie saved your life.
She saved my life. A year before I got the call to do Roxie, I was in a very depressed state. I wasn’t dreaming. I was heartbroken. I got tired of feeling like that. So I changed my life. I started writing in my journal, working out, changing the way I was eating and affirming that I’m here for a reason. I decided, I’m getting ready for something big. And then I got the call to do a work session for Chicago. When I got the part and walked on stage, everything I felt before went completely away. She saved me.

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