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Angelica Ross is about to make Broadway history. She’s ready to “kick down the door”


When asked what audiences would see in her portrayal of Roxie, Ross explained how she wanted to emphasize the “unspoken factors.”

“You can’t hide the fact that when you watch me as Roxie on stage, I’m a dark-skinned black woman. No lines need to be changed, but a black woman knows what it’s like. is to navigate in a white environment.” said Ross. “While a lot of people might not really think about it…I really do. I look forward to those moments when I come to life in a space, just like a black woman.”

Ross pictured in Los Angeles in 2021.Frazer Harrison/Getty Images File

“It’s not overt,” Ross continued. “It’s just different ways of playing characters. Even as a black trans woman, I don’t play the trans role, but I had to navigate spaces where I had to…speak a certain way in order to to be taken seriously, or professionally, or to be listened to, so I just hope to add those little colors that people will appreciate.

If “Pose” fans are looking for flashes of Candy Johnson-Ferocity, the wise, sharp woman Ross played for two seasons of the groundbreaking FX show, Ross said there will be flashes of that “energy.” .

“Look at Roxie’s base,” Ross said. “I think there’s a bit of Candy there. (They’re each) a resourceful woman who has to navigate a space. I think people will have times when they see that.”

Angelica Ross as Candy in "Laid" on FX.
Ross as Candy in “Pose” on FX, the groundbreaking show that profiled New York’s underground ballroom community in the 80s and 90s.Eric Liebowitz / FX

While Ross’ reign in “Chicago” is only set to last until Nov. 6, 2022, she has other Broadway fantasies in mind. One of her dream roles, she said, would be to play Elphaba, the Witch of the West, in “Wicked.” The musical is based on a book of the same title by Gregory Maguire and details the witch’s journey from childhood to Dorothy’s arrival in Oz. No openly transgender artist has performed the role on Broadway.

“I have the audiobook…and hearing Elphaba’s backstory, and hearing that she was born a hermaphrodite, is like, ‘Oh my god, she’s trans,'” Ross said. “She’s trans, and has to deal with relationships and dating in a green body, and all those things. So I feel like I would relate so well to the character and bring a lot to the role. .”

Another dream role is Celie in “The Color Purple,” which is based on a book of the same name by Alice Walker and is being made into an Oprah Winfrey-produced musical in 2023. Ross said that Celie’s 11 o’clock number, a powerful anthem called “I’m Here”, would be a joy to sing.

“Singing ‘I’m Here’ and saying ‘As a trans woman, I’m here’, I think that would mean a lot universally and add another layer to the story,” Ross said. “Just like ‘Chicago’ and Roxie, there are other roles that can really bring a lot more diversity and vision by including actors like me.”

For now, Ross is set to make history with that exciting moment when she takes the stage at the Ambassador Theater on September 12.

She said, “I’m just ready to kick down the door and hopefully help people have a little more vision when it comes to putting trans people in mainstream roles.”

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Angelica Ross is about to make Broadway history. She's ready to "kick down the door"

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