O’Hurley, Brinkley lend star power to ‘Chicago’

BOSTON — Everyone tends to forget that in its original Broadway run, “Chicago,” despite featuring one of my all-time favorite actors, Jerry Orbach, as Billy Flynn, was not an all-out smash hit.

John O’Hurley

The original Broadway production opened June 3, 1975, at the 46th Street Theatre and ran for a strong but not spectacular 936 performances. It was Chicago’s 1996 Tony Award-winning Broadway revival that set the record both for the longest-running musical revival and the longest-running American musical in Broadway history, and is the fourth longest-running show in Broadway history.

As of October 2012, it has played for more than 6,600 performances, buoyed by a constantly rotating cast that has featured

The short six-show run of “Chicago” that opens Nov. 1 at the Citi Performing Arts Center Wang Theatre features Christie Brinkley, one of the world’s most successful supermodels, making her Boston debut as murderess Roxie Hart, and former “Seinfeld” and “Family Feud” star John O’Hurley as Billy Flynn.

Brinkley first played the role on Broadway in 2010, then for four weeks in London’s West End, again on Broadway this spring and now in selected cities as part of the national tour.

Christie Brinkley

The former wife of pop star Billy Joel who famously starred in his “Uptown Girl” video, she recently honed her comedy chops in the new hit comedy “Celebrity Autobiography,” where superstar memoirs are acted out live on stage.

O’Hurley also played Billy Flynn on Broadway, where he also enjoyed a two-year run as King Arthur in “Spamalot” while also hosting the TV show “Family Feud.” He had a long-running role on “Seinfeld” as J. Peterman, was a champion on “Dancing With the Stars,” and oh, by the way, also had a hit CD “Peace of Our Minds,” which reached No. 13 on the Billboard charts.

O’Hurley, a native of Kittery, Me. and a graduate of Providence College, is also the author of the New York Times bestseller “It’s OK to Miss the Bed on the First Jump: And Other Life Lessons Learned from Dogs,” and “Before Your Dog Can Eat Your Homework, First You Have To Do It.”

The “Chicago” book was written by Fred Ebb and the late, legendary actor, choreographer and director Bob Fosse, with music by Ebb and John Kander featuring such numbers as “Razzle-Dazzle” and “Mr. Cellophane.” For more information, visit #www.citicenter.org or call (866) 348-9738.