While the producers of Chicago could rightly be accused of pulling a little stunt of their own (casting a notorious lip-syncher to do live theatre), it worked. Despite her previous live mishaps, Ashlee turned in a nearly flawless performance, converting some haters into believers, at least in London.
"Roxie's a fun character to play," Ashlee said. "For me, it wasn't like I ever wanted to have my name in the papers. It was usually like, 'Oh, no!' But I know what the feeling is. And I know what the celebrity life is like, so I tried to bring a little comedy to that."
It was more than a little comedy - audience members after the show described the singer's take on Roxie as the funniest one they'd seen, mostly because Ashlee was so physical with her performance. She contorts her face, pushes up her breasts with pads and gives her co-stars the raspberry - all the little things that add up to a Roxie who is both child and woman.
"She's the youngest Roxie we've ever had, and she just has certain qualities that make the role so delicious," 'Chicago' producer Barry Weissler said. "The lines and the steps and the blocking and the songs are all the same, but because of her personality, it's different. Her beats are different."
"This was just the opening night," Ashlee said. "I'm excited to see what the rest of my five weeks onstage will be like."
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