Country star and father to Miley, Billy Ray Cyrus will make his Broadway debut in “Chicago” later this year.
Cyrus will play lawyer Billy Flynn in the production for a seven-week limited engagement at the Ambassador Theatre from November 5 through December 23.
Though he has never appeared on Broadway, Cyrus did appear in a 2005 Toronto production of “Annie Get Your Gun,” and recently told USA Today that, “I love acting, and I’m always up for learning new things.”
However, he had never seen either a stage or the film version of “Chicago” when producers invited him to come see the show last year. John O’Hurley, of “Seinfeld” and “Family Feud” fame, was playing Flynn at the time, and Cyrus said he was inspired by the performance and the role.
“His performance was so brilliant, and I fell in love with this character,” Cyrus told the newspaper. “He’s got a lot of heart and soul, but he’s got an agenda, too. I like that contradiction.”
When he did later see the film version of the musical, he was also said he was impressed by Richard Gere’s portrayal of Flynn.
“I’m probably going to borrow from both performances – but make it my own, as they say in this business,” he said. “I get a little nervous thinking about it. Maybe a lot nervous.”
In addition to the upcoming Broadway role, Cyrus has a busy year planned. A new album that is tentatively titled Change My Mind is due in October, and he will release his autobiography, Hillbilly Heart, next April.
Cyrus’ most recent song, “That’s What Daddys Do,” was appropriately released on Father’s Day this year, and the song features two of his other daughters, Brandi and Noah. He says in the article that he hopes Brandi “just keeps going to school and riding horses and having a nice normal life,” rather than follow in her sister Miley’s footsteps.