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Ryoko Yonekura to be first Japanese actress on Broadway in 54 years

OHMYGOSSIP — Actress Ryoko Yonekura (36) will be the first Japanese performer in 54 years to appear in a Broadway musical when she co-stars in “Chicago” in July. Miyoshi Umeki was the last Japanese actress to perform on Broadway in 1958.

Yonekura, who plays Roxie Hart, said she is looking forward to the challenge of performing in English. “I think I was born to play Roxy on the stage,” she told reporters.

Yonekura starred in the Japanese version of “Chicago” in 2008 and 2010.

She said she has been studying English 3-4 times a week for many years in the hope that one day, her dream of performing in the U.S. would come true.

Ryoko Yonekura (米倉涼子 Yonekura Ryōko, born August 1, 1975) is a Japanese ex-fashion model and actress. She studied classical ballet for 15 years from the age of five. A member of the Oscar Productions agency, she won a national young beauty award in 1992. In 1993 she started her career as a model, working for fashion magazines such as CanCam. She announced her intention to start her acting career in June 1999. Her acting debut was in the TBS drama Koi no Kamisama (God of Love) and has appeared in many dramas ever since.

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