Christie Brinkley got off to a rousing start last night (Apr. 8) in her Broadway debut as Roxie Hart in the hit show Chicago . Brinkley, 57, won a standing ovation that left her in tears.
Chicago veteran Amra-Faye Wright joined her as Velma Kelly, replacing Leigh Zimmerman,.
Brent Barret plays Billy Flynn, Raymond Bokhour is Amos Hart and Rox Ryan is Matron “Mama” Morton in the musical about a showgirl, Roxy, who must stand trial for the murder of her lover.
Brinkley follows Brooke Shields, Ashlee Simpson and Michelle Williams from Destiny’s Child in the role of Roxie. She’s the oldest actress, so far, to take the role.
The show went off without missing a beat, but Brinkley is facing a grueling 11-week run that will test her stamina and the staying power of her voice.
She’s already suffered a minor muscle injury that caused her to miss three days of rehearsal.
But she made it through the show looking fit and poised, and took her hard won curtain call in a tuxedo jacket and velvet all-in-one.
Daughter Alexa Ray Joel, 25, by marriage to singer Billy Joel, handed her a huge bunch of flowers during the curtain call.
Ex-husband Joel also reportedly coached her to help her project her singing voice with minimal strain.
“I’ve been a boxing photographer for Don King, I’ve traveled with a rock band, climbed the Himalayas with my son and chanted with the monks under the stars,” the former supermodel said about her Broadway foray.
“I’ve been a cutting-horse champion and a delegate for the 1st Congressional District of New York. I love to fill my life with adventures, and this is my Broadway adventure!” she said.
She’s also had a lot of drama in her real life.
It includes the bitter break up of her fourth marriage to Peter Cook over his affair with a teenager, and daughter Alexa’s despair over a break up that led to her 2009 suicide attempt.
So far, no major reviews have been published, and critics can be tough. But there’s no question Brinkley is a crowd pleaser.
Check out the video below to watch her talk with Jay Leno about the show: