If you’re good to Mama… you’ll land a role in Chicago, at least if Jinkx Monsoon‘s experience is anything to go by. The two-time RuPaul’s Drag Race winner, crowned in season five and in All Stars seven, will officially be making her Broadway debut in 2023 in the role of Matron “Mama” Morton, in the Tony-winning Broadway show, Chicago.
Starting on Jan.6, the two-time Drag Race winner will kick-start her eight-week run as Mama, previously popularized and portrayed by Queen Latifah. Besides being sufficiently impressive by the big shoes to be filled on stage, this historical run also marks the first drag artist ever to debut in the New York City theater district as Mama Morton. In an interview via EW, the drag artist doubled down on this never-before-seen feat, and how much it actually means to her, especially after remembering her first performance in drag, “All That Jazz.”
“I cannot stress enough that this has been a lifelong dream of mine. To be making my Broadway debut, as my favorite role, in one of my favorite shows — that lifelong dream is coming true and then some. The first number I performed in drag was ‘All That Jazz,’ so this feels almost too serendipitous. But, I never question my blessings, I just thank Hecate for them.”
As the longest-running musical revival on Broadway, Monsoon’s feat is nothing of the ordinary. Chicago is just shy behind Phantom of the Opera as the longest-running broadway show, with its first performance taking place in 1975, with over 930 performances under its name. Since then, the story received acclaimed reviews, and a live-action film starring Renée Zellweger, Catherine Zeta-Jones, and of course, Queen Latifah.
The show introduces the story of Roxie Hart, a dancer who murders her lover, and thus, turns her case into a headline-grabbing narrative with the help of a criminal lawyer. Mama is a supporting character in Hart’s criminal affair story, presiding over the women’s block at the Cook Country Jail. The current production of Chicago stars Charlotte d’Amboise as Roxie Hart, Lana Gordon as Velma Kelly, Ryan Silverman as Billy Flynn, and Charity Angél Dawson as Mama.
In spite of it being her Broadway debut, the drag artist is entirely comfortable on stage given her past experience. Since receiving her first crown in RuPaul’s Drag Race season five, Monsoon starred in her own Christmas Cabaret show alongside queen Ben DeLaCreme, in the theatrical spectacular The Jinkx & DeLa Holiday Show, with whom she is currently on tour.