Usher Dazzles in Broadway Debut
Thu, 24 Aug 2006 17:19:13
Usher is no stranger to the stage, but on Tuesday night, the curtain opened on a new phase of his career: Broadway star. According to spectators, he didn't miss a beat in his portrayal of attorney Billy Flynn in the hit musical Chicago, holding his own and then some alongside the show's veteran cast.
"I got a great response my first night," Usher said afterwards. "I'm happy I could share this moment with so many great people. Of course, you have opening-night jitters on anything you do, especially Broadway."
"We're so impressed, so proud," said castmate Bianca Marroquin, who's been around the Broadway block for some time. "We can't wait to see what else he's gonna do."
The only bump in the road came during one of Usher's musical numbers, when he was interrupted by an audience member's cell phone -- with a ringtone playing Cassie's hit "Me & U."
Usher took it in stride, jokingly blaming record mogul Clive Davis. "I gotta get in Clive Davis' ass," he said. "His phone was ringing right in the middle of the play. Can you believe that?" In pleading his innocence, Davis admitted that he doesn't even have a cell phone. Now that's VIP. And the VIPs were not in short number; Davis was joined by Penelope Cruz, Mario, Rosie Perez, Gabrielle Union, and Oprah Winfrey's decidedly not-gay friend Gayle King. The afterparty at Manhattan's Nikki Beach was an event in its own right, and featured the cast and their friends eschewing Broadway hits for sounds that might be more familiar to Usher -- dancefloor hits like Justin Timberlake's "SexyBack" and Nelly Furtado's "Promiscuous."
-- The ARTISTdirect Staff