Kara DioGuardi to play Roxie in Broadway's 'Chicago.' Will she bring the razzle dazzle?


Image Credit: Tommaso Boddi/PR Photos

Did you think Kara DioGuardi was one funny honey on American Idol? Well, you’re in luck: The former judge and current Platinum Hit host will paint the town on the Great White Way in Chicago, a rep for the songwriter confirms. Starting on Sept. 5 for eight weeks, DioGuardi will play Roxie Hart, the merry murderess who enjoys a brush with fame after her arrest for her lover’s murder. (It’s the role played by RenĂ©e Zellweger in Rob Marshall’s big-screen version.)

Now, we’ve had a run-in with DioGuardi’s pipes a few times before — remember her season 8 finale duet with bikini girl? — so we know she can sing. Pretty darn well, at that. But can she act? Out of all of the previous, well-known leading ladies who graced Broadway’s stage in Chicago (and there have been plenty — I even saw Lisa Rinna play Roxie one year), this casting actually excites me the most. So much mystery! Unlike folks like Bebe Neuwirth, Michelle Williams, and Melanie Griffith, we have no idea how DioGuardi will fare on stage. Will she prove to be Broadway’s perfectly packaged artist? Or will we see through her like Mrs. Cellophane?

So count me in to see DioGuardi’s razzle dazzle. What about you, PopWatchers? Lipschitz.

Follow Kate on Twitter @KateWardEW

Read more:
Bravo is making another Kara DioGuardi reality show
Kara DioGuardi and Jewel headlining new singer-songwriter competition for Bravo
Kara DioGuardi: A tribute to a packaged judge

Comments (36 total) Add your comment
  • Michael

    Say what you want about her, but the girl has some singing chops. I heard a couple of her songs on youtube, and her voice is very pure and gorgeous. Plus, if Renee Z can sing Roxy Hart songs, I doubt Kara will have any problems.

    • Jackie

      Ashlee Simpson also did this same move when her career was on the downhill… so…
      Kara go away… go back to writing co-writing meaningless songs BEHIND the scenes.

      • Michael

        And Ashlee Simpson can’t sing to save her life. Kara’s career isn’t exactly on the downhill. She has a label, a show on Bravo and is still writing songs for very popular artists. Get your facts straight before you spout off at the mouth.

    • Chrome

      this is pretty intriguing. i never pictured her as an actress but if the producers of a major broadway show are will to give her a shot, they know more than i do.

  • PDDB

    Ugh. Why???

    • Tatiyana

      Why? Because she’s talented. Which is more than can be said about the a-holes sitting around stuffing themselves with peanut butter & jelly sandwiches all day and making negative comments about people they are jealous of.

      • MJBChicago

        Uhhhh, she has not been talented in launching a career beyond songwriting. Why can’t she just be happy with that career? She is so unlikable, I really want her to go away. Mercifully she doesn’t have much of a role on that Bravo debacle.

  • llevinso

    Roxie Hart did not murder her husband. She murdered the guy she was having an affair with.

    • Mr. Holloway

      But I thought they both reached for the gun

      • Kat


      • KarlHall

        Low blow, Holloaway. Low blow.

    • Jay

      It doesn’t say husband. It says lover. Which means the guy she was having an affair with.

      • whatevs

        They changed it to lover after llevinso’s comment.

  • Me

    I like her

    • Arik

      You are one of the very few.

  • vin

    I love Chicago and just saw it with Chrstie bRINKLY. Its a god fit for Kara I think. She can show off her body and her pipes

    • Blow Anne

      I also think it’s a God fit for Kara. She’ll be much better than Chrstie bRINKLY.

      • SaraS

        LOL… oh Blow Anne.

    • Squishmar

      I’m very curious how Christie Brinkley did… I didn’t even know she was doing it until I saw the Tonys. I would think she’d have a very thin voice. And I hope her acting has improved over the years. How was she?

      • vin

        She (surprisngly) had a great voice. Her acting was good too but it wasn’t anything to rave about. Her voice on theo ther hand definately was excellent.

      • Squishmar

        Huh. Who knew? Thanks for answering. She was so awkward on the Tonys. Just like a former Miss America. She must have been incredibly nervous.

      • vin

        ur welcome

  • Doug

    A true test of talent would be for her to take on the Velma Kelly role. She, like other “B” stars, can take on the lightweight role of Roxie Hart, no problem. If Kelly Osborne can do it, so can Kara…..

    • Mimi

      Totally agree. Velma’s songs and dance routines are a lot tougher, which is why the Karas, Kellys, and Ashlees of the world only get cast as Roxie.

      • Squishmar

        You know, it’s still no easy task… you’re definitely singing live, and there IS dancing along with it and you do it all for eight shows a week. It’s not like it’s nothing– and not everybody can do it. There’s a lot of stamina and talent involved–not to mention balls of steel to get up there when everybody is pre-judging you and you really have to prove yourself.

      • @Doug and Mimi

        Wow. “…the lightweight role of Roxie Hart.” “…and Ashlees of the world only get cast as Roxie.” So, you’re saying that Gwen Verdon, Liza Minelli, and Ann Reinking, all of whom have played Roxie, are lightweights?

    • fancypants

      You’re right. The Velma role is much more difficult. CZJ was great as Velma, which is why she won the Oscar.

  • Squishmar

    I think she’ll do fine. I don’t think she’d take the gig if she didn’t think she could do it well.

  • Sue Ann

    But could this be an upcoming, on-stage reunion between Diogurdi as Roxie, abd Paula Abdul as Velma? (Can Paula still dance “Velma Style? (20 years ago she could have killed it!) Now…I’m not so sure. But since both their reality shows seem to have bitten the big one, perhaps their marquee-names can get some people to fill the seats and keep this revival going (with all these gals waiting in the wings to make their Broadway debuts) for another 10 years – not unlike the revolving casting door that was to become “Grease.” (Count the Rizzos, and take a drunk each time you remember one – it makes it easier.)

  • RC

    I hope Kara does well as “Roxie”. She can sing, that’s a good start. She will undergo what is called the “Chicago”boot camp. This means that the dance captain, choreographer, stage manager and other will put her thru the paces to learn her singing and dancing sequences. “Chicago” has more or less two versions: the advanced steps for the ladies who really can sing and dance on a professional level and the basic: for those ladies with limited dancing and singing talent. I hope Kara learns the advanced steps to her routines. Good luck to her. RC..currently in Fort Worth, TX to see Terra C McLeod (Velma) in “Chicago.”

  • Zeke

    Just her way to try to garner more publicity for herslef, the selfish ego-maniac! Once a douchebag, always a douchebag!

    • Squishmar

      That’s a really strange thing to say. First of all, you have to garner publicity if you’re a public figure… secondly, there are much easier ways to do it than starring in a Broadway show. How many people will actually see her in “Chicago” compared to one episode of even her low-rated “Platinum Hit” Bravo show? The Broadway run certainly doesn’t pay that well… I’d say she’s doing it as more of a challenge to herself. There’s far more effort involved than what rewards she will reap (unless you count a sense of accomplishment as a reward, which I certainly do).

  • hey

    Im a little late to this discussion but hey, good luck Kara. she wasnt good on TV because she isnt very charming/likeable but maybe she will do better on stage. Good luck

  • Rali

    We went to New York to see Chicago on Oct. 24th and were very disappointed that Kara D. had a substitute for her role as Roxy!!! We paild a lot to see her and were totally ripped off!!!

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  • fancypants

    Yes, but the Velma role requires more difficult singing and dancing. All That Jazz and I Can’t Do It Alone are both much harder to sing than Roxie and Funny Honey.

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