Shiri Maimon in her Broadway debut in 'Chicago,' September 2018.
(photo credit: JEREMY DANIEL)
Israeli singer and actress Shiri Maimon made history this past weekend with her Broadway debut as Roxie in the musical Chicago.
“Thank you so much, I’m honored to be here,” Maimon said during the curtain call of her very first show on Friday night, in video posted on social media. “Thank you all. And I want to thank my family, and my friends,” she said, before switching to Hebrew and adding: “Thank you for coming, I love you so much.”
It was clear from several accounts of the evening that many – if not most – of those who showed up for Maimon’s debut at the 1,100-seat Ambassador Theatre in the heart of New York City’s theater district, were Israelis.
Co-star John O’Hurley, who plays Billy Flynn, welcomed Maimon in the name of “the Broadway community,” and also welcomed “all of the people that you brought with you,” as the audience chuckled and cheered. “We hope that you will empty the entire country over the next two weeks.”
O’Hurley added: “We welcome you to Broadway, and we’re also grateful that you will be taking your performance of Roxie to Tel Aviv.”
While Maimon will only be on Broadway until October 6 before returning to Israel, she will reprise the role in a Broadway-level production in Tel Aviv in March. The Chicago show in Tel Aviv will put on seven performances in five days from March 7-11.
In a video interview for Broadway.com on Friday, Maimon said she loves playing Roxie Hart: “On the one hand she’s so innocent, and naive, and on the other hand, she’s manipulative and she’s smart, she’s funny – I love her.”
Maimon said it was a great honor “to be the first Israeli actress – female – to be on that stage. I’m honored.”
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