Killing It: CHICAGO’s Claire Russell

Claire Russell brings seductive charm to the role of the murderess Roxie Hart in “CHICAGO“.

Fame doesn’t come along without some degree of fascination, and few people prove more fascinating to the masses than female murderers – probably because they are so rare. Roxie Hart had all but given up her childhood dream of vaudeville stardom. Then she found opportunity where she least expected it, and she didn’t hesitate to unabashedly capitalize on the attention. But what does Claire really think of Roxie?

Claire Russell as Roxie Hart in “CHICAGO“.

Claire says: “It’s challenging to come up with things I really admire about her! I do respect her drive – from a sheer determination perspective. And her adaptability. She really rolls with the punches.”

There are other “tough girl” characters in the show, but they get more flummoxed by change and when things don’t go the way they’re expecting. This is particularly true for Roxie’s main rival, Velma Kelly. Is this Roxie’s big advantage over her opponents?

CR: “Yes. Even more than youth. Roxie literally was in the audience at one of Velma’s shows and then in a matter of weeks accomplished what it took Velma years to establish. Velma may be a much more polished performer, but she isn’t as in touch with what’s the next boundary to push or sensational stunt to pull.”

Speaking of sensational, the role of Roxie features so many memorable numbers. Does Claire have a favourite?

CR: “’Funny Honey’. I’ve rarely gotten to play a sexy ‘femme fatale’, and it’s every girl’s dream to sing on top of the piano.”

A desire to stand out and be adored by a crowd of admirers: for centuries, the motivation behind the performance is the same, but the venue changes. And so does the medium through which the story is told.

In the 1920’s, Roxie had newspapers. If her story played out in 2020, where would we be reading about Roxie?

CR: “Definitely as a very popular Instagram influencer! Because you have all the control and you don’t have to necessarily be particularly talented. You create your own fame/story and Roxie is very good at understanding what the audience wants.”

A Northumberland Players “lifer”, Claire was born just hours after her mother and father finished their dress rehearsal for “Little Shop of Horrors.” Learn more about Claire and all of the talented cast of “CHICAGO” by checking out their bios, then come see the show. You don’t want to miss one of the sexiest and most entertaining shows in Broadway history!