Tonight Chicago, The Musical, Welcomes Country Girl Jennifer Nettles

Grammy winner Nettles plays Roxie Hart.

Grammy winner Nettles plays Roxie Hart.

Jennifer Nettles, who formed the band Sugarland in 2003 with Kristian Bush and Kristen Hall, will open tonight as Roxie Hart in Broadway’s longest running American musical Chicago. Nettles told PEOPLE in a recent interview, “I’m working my ass off and my feet hurt, but I’m having a ball.” This is her Broadway debut.

Grammy Winner, Plus

Nettles plays Roxie hart, Chicago musical Broadway

Nettles as Hart.

In 2009, Nettles and Bush won two Grammys for their single, “Stay.” She received a third Grammy for the work she did with Bon Jovi. She also recently released her first solo album, and she’s been the CMA Country Christmas host. The extremely popular country performer has been up to this latest challenge.

In her interview with PEOPLE, she noted that learning the choreography was the toughest chore of her new adventure. Nettles joked, “I don’t want to look like a hack up there,” and added, “I’ll be standing beside fantastic veterans of Broadway and I want to feel comfortable. I don’t want to be the weakest link. And if I am going to be the weakest link, I want to be the strongest one they’ve worked with!”

Also Joining the Company

Broadway vet Carly Hughes joins the company as Velma Kelly.

Broadway vet Carly Hughes joins the company as Velma Kelly.

Nettles is certainly in good company, as Broadway vet Carly Hughes will also join the cast at the Ambassador Theatre. Hughes’ Broadway credits are extensive and include Pippin, Beautiful, Ghost, and The Book of Mormon. She also appeared on Broadway in Ragtime, The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee. and Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas.

Other Chicago cast members include Alexander Gemignani as Billy Flynn, Raymond Bokhour as Amos Hart, NaTasha Yvette Williams as Matron “Mama” Morton and R. Lowe as Mary Sunshine. Hughes will play Velma Kelly.

Break A Leg!

Of her foray into bright light of The Great White Way, Nettles said, “Broadway has always been a special, magical place, with a wonderful tradition of singers and actors. I feel honored and proud to be part of this great tradition. Taking on such an iconic role as Roxie in Chicago is a dream come true.”

From Broadway IQ, we say “Break a Leg” to Nettles and Hughes as they start their run in Chicago. Nettles will play Hart through to March 29.

  • Author Spotlight

    Paul Mroczka

    Paul Mroczka has served Theatre By the Sea as associate director and playwright-in-residence. He has directed for companies including North Country Center for the Arts, Pontine Movement Theatre, The Theatre of Newburyport and the Palace Theatre. A former National Endowment for the Arts fellow in playwriting, he has also garnered a Shubert Fellowship, the Jason Miller Award and has received grants from the New Hampshire Council for the Humanities. His plays have been performed at New York’s La MaMa La Galleria, Nat Horne Theatre, and Manhattan Punchline Theatre, among others. His interactive planetarium show, Pathfinders, is running at the Christa McAuliffe Planetarium in Concord, NH. Recent directorial assignments include Good People, Steel Magnolias, and The Complete World of Sports (Abridged) at The Barnstormers Playhouse in New Hampshire, and Rumors, Orpheus in the Underworld, and The Glass Menagerie at PSU. This summer Paul finished an initial draft of his new play, Smart Money ... Read Full