Philippine theater’s Red Concepcion makes Broadway debut in ‘Chicago’ 

Red Concepion plays Amos Hart, devoted husband of a murder suspect.

Red Concepcion joins the cast of the Tony Award-winning “Chicago the Musical” on Broadway, currently running at The Ambassador Theater.

“I still can’t believe it! Never in a million years did I think I’d ever get here,” said Red when reached by The FilAm.  “I’m here for the ride and loving every second of it.”

He will be playing Amos Hart, the cuckolded husband of Roxie Hart who is convicted of killing her lover. He is the first Filipino to play the role on Broadway.

Red is best known for playing The Engineer in “Miss Saigon” U.S. National and UK and Ireland Tours. Prior to launching his international theatre career, his body of work in Philippine theatre spans over 15 years, which includes the Manila restaging of Peter Shaffer’s hit psychological drama, “Equus,” where he played the lead role of disturbed teenager, Alan Strang.

In 2014, he won the Aliw Award for Best Actor in a Musical and the Gawad Buhay Award for Outstanding Male Actor in a Musical for his star turn as Adam/Felicia in the Manila production of “Priscilla, Queen of the Desert.”

Red joins current cast members Charlotte d’Amboise as Roxie Hart, Kimberly Marable as Velma Kelly, Max von Essen as Billy Flynn, Lili Thomas as Matron “Mama” Morton, and R. Lowe as Mary Sunshine.

About Chicago

‘Mr. Cellophane’ is his solo number.

With a legendary book by Fred Ebb and Bob Fosse, music by John Kander and lyrics by Fred Ebb, “Chicago,” on stage for 27 years,  is now the longest-running musical on Broadway, according to Produced by Barry and Fran Weissler, Chicago is the winner of six 1997 Tony Awards including Best Musical Revival and the Grammy Award for Best Musical Cast Recording.

The production is directed by  Walter Bobbie, choreographed by Ann Reinking, set design by  John Lee Beatty, costume design by William Ivey Long, lighting design by  Ken Billington, sound and design by  Scott Lehrer, all of them Tony Award winners.

According to its website, “Set amidst the razzle-dazzle decadence of the 1920s, Chicago is the story of Roxie Hart, a housewife and nightclub dancer who murders her on-the-side lover after he threatens to walk out on her.” She tries to frame her faithful husband for the murder.

In previous iterations of the show, Amos Hart is portrayed as a “much put-upon, sad and mopey character,” said Red reflecting on the role made famous in 2002 by actor John C. Reilly.

“But the creatives told me they wanted me to think of him as the only real light in a show filled with actually dark people.  So he gets pushed around, duped and manipulated, but he’s found a way to push all that deep down and put on a cheerful face.”

In his solo number, “Mr. Cellophane,” all his frustrations “come tumbling out and for a brief moment, he allows his real voice to be heard.”

Red puts across how the experience resonated with him as a minority actor.

He said, “As Filipinos, and Southeast Asians, I think we’re taught to be amiable and to smile through everything. To make ourselves small and to never rock the boat. So that moment when Amos finally lets himself scream and sing out was really important to me.”

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