Israel’s 2005 Eurovision representative Shiri Maimon will be making her Broadway debut from 21st September to 5th October in the Tony-winning revival of Chicago at the Ambassador Theatre, playing the title character Roxie Hart.
“It’s starting to get real now”
In a recent interview with The Times of Israel at the famous Sardi’s restaurant, the Israeli singer revealed that she had always wanted to act on Broadway, but thought it was never possible.
I didn’t even think it was an option to do Broadway… 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.
She also revealed that when she originally recieved the call to ask her to play Roxie Hart on Broadway, she thought “it was a joke at first”. She was selected to star in the musical after Broadway producer, Barry Weissler, seen her in a production of “Evita”, while on holiday in Israel.
Shiri also said in the interview that:
It’s starting to get real now. And still, even if it’s a big deal, at the end of the day it’s a stage, there is an audience: I’m used to it. This is what I do, it’s my work, it’s my pleasure. It’s my dream come true.
In the words of the director: “Very talented” and “very beautiful”
Barry Wiessler, the Tony-award winning Broadway producer who cast Shiri for the role has expressed his confidence in the singer and he has high hopes for her as Roxie:
She’s very talented and she’s beautiful. She sings, she dances, she’s got a vibrant personality. How could we miss that? She is not know in this country. We intend to make her known.
A two-week Broadway stint!
She will star in the musical for two weeks from 21st September to 6th October, performing a total of sixteen shows. However, it won’t be the last time that Shiri will star in “Chicago”. She will be starring in the musical for five days between 7th March and 11th March, when the international tour stops in Tel Aviv.
When Shiri can’t be found playing Roxie Hart on stage, her fans will be able to catch her on the judging panel of HaKokhav Haba (The Next Star). The show’s sixth season will be returning this October, and will see Shiri join the judging panel alongside Keren Peles, Harel Skaat, Assaf Amdursky, Static and Ben-El Tavori. The show will also be used to select Israel’s participant for Eurovision for the fifth time in a row. Nadav Guedj was the first artist to be selected for Israel via HaKokhav Haba in 2015.
Shiri Maimon at Eurovision 2005
Shiri Maimon represented Israel at the 2005 Eurovision Song Contest in Kyiv, Ukraine with the song “Hasheket Shenish’ar” (The Silence That Remains).
Shiri was selected to represent Israel through the Kdam Eurovision national final, which she won with 116 points – 46 points clear of the runner-up Yossi Azulai.
At Eurovision, the song (penned by Pini Aaronbayev and Eyal Shachar) finished 7th in the semi-final with 158 points (including three sets of 12 points from Andorra, Belarus and Monaco) meaning Israel progressed to the final. In the final, Shiri bettered her semi-final result, finishing 4th place overall with 154 points (including one set of 12 points from Monaco). Shiri’s fourth-place finish was Israel’s best result of the 2000s and up until Netta’s win this year, it remained the best Israeli result since Dana International’s victory in 1998.
You can listen to Shiri’s performance in Kyiv below:
Are you excited to hear the news? Will you be rushing out to get last-minute tickets to watch Shiri perform in New York or Tel Aviv?
Let us know in the comments below or on social media @ESCXTRA.