Ashlee Simpson

Ashlee Takes a Bow

UPDATED 10/09/2006 at 01:00 AM EDT Originally published 10/09/2006 at 01:00 AM EDT

It's just a noisy hall, where there's a nightly brawl, and all that jazz. And Ashlee Simpson too. On Sept. 25 the singer stepped into the London production of the hit musical Chicago as fame-starved murderess Roxie Hart (the role Renée Zellweger played in the 2002 film). "It's a blast," says Simpson, who got a standing ovation from an audience that included her parents and sister Jessica. "It's my dream." She's not the only celebrity to feel that way. The Broadway revival, which celebrates its 10th anniversary Nov. 14, has attracted dozens of stars. For actors, "it doesn't get any better," says Chicago producer Barry Weissler. "You're all alone with your audience, and you make it or you fail." How did Ashlee do? Says Weissler: "She bowled us over."

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