Ashlee Simpson-Wentz, 25, who played Roxie in the hit musical Chicago in a London run back in 2006, is getting a chance to reprise the role on Broadway.
It’s a real break for the sometimes controversial singer, who was widely panned after she was caught lip-syncing on “Saturday Night Live,” and left the stage in an unprofessional huff in 2004.
Since then, she’s been relegated to the C-list, reserved for celebrities of questionable talent, where she currently resides with her sister Jessica Simpson. But in show business there are always second acts, and Ashlee is about to get hers.
Simpson gave birth to their son, Bronx Mowgli Wentz in Nov. 2008, and most recently landed a bit-part on the television show “Melrose Place. ” The story line has since wrapped, and her character was killed off.
During her London run, Wentz turned in a credible performance as Roxie, a role that has been played by a number of top stars. In the movie version, Roxie was played by Renée Zellweger.
Wentz will reportedly hit the boards for a six-week run in the role starting in December.
Spokesperson Jeremy Shaffer declined to confirm Wentz’s Broadway debut, but told OK magazine that “Dancing With the Stars” celeb Cheryl Burke will not be starring as Roxie. Hmmm.. was Burke the show’s first choice?
For her par, Ashlee told OK! last year, that she’s ready to do the part, again. “It’s a lot of hard work and it’s a great, fantastic show and I would love to do it again.”
Broadway shows have increasingly turned to well-known performers to headline shows, much to the chagrin of Broadway regulars, who would kill for such parts.
Although Simpson was widely criticized for using a pre-recorded vocal track on SNL, her records have sold well.
She burst onto the scene in 2004, with a No. 1 debut album Autobiography and followed up with a reality series “The Ashlee Simpson Show,” riding the coattails of her older sister, who was at the top of her game back then, as well. Ashlee was portrayed as a hipper version of Jessica.
Following a North American concert tour and a film appearance, Simpson released a second No. 1 album, I Am Me, in October 2005. Her third album, Bittersweet World, followed in 2008. Her first three albums have sold over 9 million copies worldwide, which is not too shabby.
Whether Simpson will have the marquee power to fill seats, however, remains to be seen.