Israeli singer and actress Shiri Maimon is living her dream with her new role as the main character, Roxie Hart, in the musical “Chicago.” Situated in the Times Square restaurant, Sardi’s, she is off to a great start. “I didn’t even think it was an option to do Broadway,” she told The Times of Israel. “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 confesses that when she first got the call to come to NY for the position she “thought it was a joke”. The fateful call came from the CEO of Helicon, her record label in Israel. As reported by The Times of Israel, someone close to Tony award-winning Broadway manager Barry Weissler, had seen her in a production of “Evita”, while they were on vacation in Israel a few weeks earlier.
The 37-year-old, who was born in Haifa and raised in Kiryat Haim, rose to fame on the Israeli premier talent reality show, Kokhav Nolad, as the first runner-up in 2003. Maimon’s first single, “Ad SheTavin Oti” (Until You Understand Me) was released in 2004, and her debut album, Shiri Maimon, went gold selling over 20,000 copies in a few months. In 2005, she represented Israel in the Eurovision Song Contest. In 2013, she became one of the judges for the first season of The X Factor Israel, where she stayed on for the following two seasons.
For now, her Big Apple role as Roxie is set from September 21 through October 6, with eight shows per week at the Ambassador Theater stage. “I’m here with the whole family — I have two little kids — so I’m trying to adjust everything, and then, of course the language is not my comfort zone but I’m going to work on it. That’s what I’m doing right now, rehearsing.” After that, the international touring company of the musical will join her in Tel Aviv for a few performances from March 7 to March 11. Israeli fans will also be able to watch her on the next season of HaKokhav HaBa, where she will be one of the judges.
“She’s very talented and she’s very beautiful,” said her new Producer, Weissler. “She sings, she dances, she’s got a vibrant personality. How could we miss that?” He continued, “She is not known in this country. We intend to make her known.”
By Hadassah Kalatizadeh