In the original Broadway cast of Chicago the Musical, Chita Rivera played Velma Kelly and Gwen Verdon played Roxie Hart. The production opened in 1975 and both performers were nominated for a Tony Award. “Nowadays,” a Roxie Hart song, is also part of a duet between Roxie and Velma. The two Broadway stars were great friends and in Rivera’s concert at Jazz at Lincoln Center, she sings the song “Nowadays” in tribute to the late Gwen Verdon.
Chicago the Musical was directed and choreographed by Bob Fosse, with music by Kander and Ebb (Fosse and Ebb share book credit). It ran June 3, 1975 through August 27, 1977.