Emma Pittman has waited almost three years to finally have her dream come true of being a Broadway star.
In 2019, Pittman was named the winner of the “Search for Roxie!” contest to play Roxie Hart in the Broadway company of “Chicago.”
The Oxford High School graduate’s debut was delayed due to the pandemic that shuttered all Broadway theatres in March 2020.
“It’s been a rollercoaster of emotions for sure, as it has been for so many people,” Pittman told Hottytoddy.com recently. “After March 2020, broadway went dark. There were no rehearsals, no performances, no work.”
“Chicago” opened back up in September with Pamela Anderson playing the part of Roxie. About a month ago, Pittman got the call. She would be replacing Anderson starting June 6. She will play a two-week engagement at the Ambassador Theatre through June 19.
She received her script on May 5 and started rehearsals on May 9.
“It’s been such an inspiring journey for me,” she said “One I’ll never forget.”
When the contest was announced in 2019, a former professor of Pittman’s emailed the details of the contest to her, encouraging her to audition, telling her “You need to do this.”
“It kind of knocked some sense into me, like ‘yes you’re absolutely right.’ I shouldn’t let this opportunity pass me by, because the worst thing that could happen is they could say ‘no,’” she said.
More than 41,000 votes were cast in the contest, and three finalists – including Pittman — auditioned in front of casting directors, producers and three judges – the late Ann Reinking, Bebe Neuwirth and Bianca Marroquín, all “Chicago” veterans.
“I had had such an amazing time with the other contestants,” Pittman said. “I was feeling grateful that they were my ‘competition’ in that moment because I knew no matter the outcome, we’d all be happy for whoever won. I was also speechless, that the late Ann Reinking was the person who was telling us who won, and then shocked when she said my name.”
Pittman grew up in Batesville but started dancing in Oxford at 2 years old. She and her family moved to Oxford when she was 13 years old. She graduated from Oxford High School and then went to college at Wagner College on Staten Island in New York.
Roxie is a central figure in “Chicago.” The character dreams of a Vaudeville career but ends up marrying a safe but boring mechanic, Amos Hart. Unsatisfied, Roxie pursues an affair with Fred Casely, a furniture salesman. Roxy shoots and kills Casely when he tries to end the affair. She is arrested and charged with his murder. While awaiting trial, a wild series of character events take place, including a notable attorney, a bribing warden and media infatuation.
Pittman said she wants to make Roxy “hers” by allowing her silly side to come out in the character.
“It’s not hard either with the way she’s written,” Pittman said of her character. “She’s an innocent, charming, sweet, and really funny lady. I’m excited to let the silliness of myself seep into her reality.”
“Chicago,” is now the second-longest running show in Broadway history, after “The Phantom of the Opera,” according to Playbill magazine.
Pittman has previously been seen as Lola in “Damn Yankees” at Park Playhouse, Annie in “Chicago” at Clear Space Theatre and Kate in the Singapore tour of “Legally Blonde,” according to Broadway.com.
“I encourage anyone if you are free June 6-19th to come to NYC and see the show,” Pittman said. “I’m so grateful to everyone who’s supported me along the way, and I’d love to celebrate this amazing journey together at the Ambassador Theatre.”
Follow Pittman on Instagram and TikTok @EmmaPittmanOfficial.