Israeli singer Shiri Maimon made her much-anticipated debut on Broadway on Friday night as Roxie Hart in the musical “Chicago,” signing off with a heartfelt message to her Israeli fans who flew out for the show.
In a short video following the performance at the Ambassador Theater in New York, Maimon is seen accepting a bouquet of flowers and thanking guests in English before switching to Hebrew to address the Israelis in the crowd. “Thank you for coming, I love you so much,” she tells them.
This was met with wild applause, as Maimon blew kisses to the audience.
Maimon can also be seen in the video excitedly greeting cheering fans outside the theater.
“Choosing me to play a leading role in Chicago on Broadway is proof that dreams are meant to be fulfilled,” Maimon said in an earlier statement. “I’m proud to bring an Israeli presence to Broadway. This is an incredible opportunity for me… and it will be a challenging and exciting time in my life.”
In an interview two weeks ago with The Times of Israel ahead of the show, Maimon said Broadway was nowhere on the radar growing up.
גאווה! שירי מימון כובשת את ברודווי בפרימיירה של ״שיקאגו״ בכיכובה ⭐️???? מלכה אמיתית! פרגנו לה באהבה ???????? צילום: רן בוקר Ran BokerShiri Maimon – שירי מימון
Posted by פנאי פלוס Pplus on Saturday, 22 September 2018
“I didn’t even think it was an option to do Broadway,” she said. “Look, I’m a dreamer. Since I was a little kid, I always dreamt about all those things that are actually happening to me right now, but I always thought of Broadway as unreachable.”
When she first received the call asking her if she’d be willing to come to New York to play Roxie Hart on Broadway, she “thought it was a joke at first,” she laughed.
Maimon will fill Roxie Hart’s tap shoes for a relatively short run, from September 21 to October 6, with eight shows a week. But her “Chicago” adventure will not end there: The international touring company of the musical will join her in Israel for a few performances from March 7 to March 11 in Tel Aviv.
In the interim, Israeli fans will be able to catch Maimon on the hit reality TV show, “Hakochav Haba” (Rising Star Israel). Maimon herself was discovered on a similar program, “Kochav Nolad” (A Star is Born) in 2003.
Tony-award winning Broadway producer Barry Weissler, who cast Maimon told the Times of Israel earlier this month that there was no denying that the Israeli singer could master the role.
“She’s very talented and she’s very beautiful,” Weissler said. “She sings, she dances, she’s got a vibrant personality. How could we miss that?” Weissler said he watched her on tape and in concert and concluded she’d “make a great Roxie.”
“She is not known in this country. We intend to make her known,” said Weissler.
More than 31 million people across the world have already seen “Chicago” on stage and millions more saw the 2002 film. It is also one of the longest running musicals on Broadway.