Jinkx Monsoon in "Chicago" Source: Jeremy Daniel

Suddenly Jinkx! 'Drag Race' Winner Heads Off-Broadway for 'Little Shop' Prior to Returning to B'way's 'Chicago'


During the final week of Jinkx Monsoon's tenure at "Chicago" last season, where she played Mama Morton for eight weeks last Spring, the show grossed its highest-grossing non-holiday week of its entire 26-year run, reported Playbill at the time. "The Kander and Ebb musical brought in $926,467.14 at the Ambassador box office and played to 99.92% full houses."

Will the winner of the "RuPaul's Drag Race" double winner prove to be a box office juggernaut again? The opportunity occurs again when she returns to a New York stage in April to take over the role of Audrey in "Little Shop of Horrors" in the current off-Broadway revival. Playbill writes that Monsoon is replacing Evan Rachel Wood, who leaves the production on March 31, along with Darren Criss, the current Seymour. Criss is to be replaced by e Corbin Bleu, who is returning to the company as Seymour after starring in the production opposite Constance Wu last year. Also joining the cast will be James Carpinello as Orin Scrivello. Monsoon, Bleu and Carpinello join the cast on April 2.

"'Little Shop of Horrors' was my favorite movie musical as a kid but Audrey is a role I considered out of the realm of possibility for me," Monsoon tells People Magazine. "To get to play her in this incredible production is terribly exciting. As a drag queen who grew up watching the iconic Ellen Greene performance, I'm thrilled and honored to get to bring Audrey to life in a whole new way that also pays homage to her memorable origins."

Ellen Greene originated the role of Audrey off-Broadway in 1982 and starred in its 1986 film version.

The current revival opened in October 2019 under Michael Mayer's direction. It closed in March, 2020 due to the pandemic and reopened in September 2021. Playbill adds that previous actors in the roles of Seymour and Audrey have included Jonathan Groff, Tammy Blanchard, Jeremy Jordan, Lena Hall, Maude Apatow, Gideon Glick, Rob McClure, Skylar Astin, Conrad Ricamora, and Matt Doyle.

But if you want to catch Jinkx as Audrey, you better do so before the beginning of June because Playbill previously reported she returns to "Chicago" to reprise her Mama Morton role for six weeks at the end of the month: June 27 and continuing through July 12 at the Ambassador Theatre. "Monsoon made Broadway history during her initial run, becoming the first drag queen to play the role of Morton on Broadway. She broke box-office records and played to standing-room-only crowds," adds Playbill.

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