Meet the veteran Broadway showgirl finally getting her big break

An array of Broadway types populates the new musical comedy, “The Prom”: the self-absorbed diva, the exasperated press agent, the vain leading man.

And then there’s the jaded chorus girl, who’s been in “Chicago” for 20 years without ever getting to play Roxie.

That last one was modeled on Angie Schworer, a fixture in Broadway choruses since she made her debut in “The Will Rogers Follies” in 1991.

“This is the Angie Schworer part,” director Casey Nicholaw and the writers kept saying. “We need an Angie Schworer type.” They even called the character Angie. And then it dawned on them: Why not get Angie Schworer?

No more chorus lines for her: Now Schworer has actual lines she delivers with expert comic timing — and stops the show with a Bob Fosse sendup called “Zazz.”

Her Broadway champions say it’s about time.

“Angie is the most legendary showgirl of our generation,” says “Hairspray” songwriter Scott Wittman. “She’s right out of Broadway in the 1930s.” His writing partner, Marc Shaiman, says: “Angie is the great example of the riches that lie within the ensemble.”

Schworer is more modest. “I’m just Angie the chorus girl, no matter what I do,” she tells me over a blood-orange salad in the West Village. “And I love being a gypsy. When I’m in the chorus, I always think: Well, somebody’s looking at me.”

You can’t miss her. She’s a 5-foot-11 blonde whose legs, to paraphrase a line in “City of Angels,” don’t stop until they hit the floor.

She has the best “show and hide it” on Broadway. That’s chorus girl lingo for walking across the stage by crossing your legs, opening them and crossing them again. (I’ll let you guess what’s being shown and hidden.)

Schworer gets up from the table to demonstrate. A group of investment bankers at the next table suspend conversation.

Born and raised in Fort Mitchell, KY, Schworer took ballet, jazz and tap dancing as a kid. Broadway was never in her sights, but dancing was. She landed jobs at theme parks in Florida, dancing in a dirndl at Busch Gardens and performing in a Tina Turner wig in front of Cinderella’s Castle.

She auditioned in Miami for a road company of “Cats,” but didn’t get cast. And then she got a call from a friend in New York who said Schworer would be perfect for director Tommy Tune’s new show, “The Will Rogers Follies.”

She got a part, and on the first day of rehearsal watched Cady Huffman — who later created the role of the sexy secretary Ulla in “The Producers” — walk across the stage on pointe.

“I thought, Holy s - – t. That girl is so tall, and her legs are so long and she is so gorgeous. What the hell am I doing here?”

After “Will Rogers,” Schworer landed a job in “Crazy for You,” where she met choreographer Susan Stroman. She worked fairly steadily except for a lull in the late ’90s. Pressed for cash, she thought about taking a job in a theatrical agency. But Schworer told the woman who interviewed her that if a role calling for a 5-foot-11 alto came across her desk, “it might hurt my feelings a little.” The woman said, “Call me in a year.”

A few months later, Stroman offered Schworer a place in the chorus of “The Producers.” Later, Schworer played Ulla on tour and then on Broadway. Now that she’s featured in “The Prom,” are her chorus-line days behind her?

“Who knows?” she says. “But if you had told this little tow-headed girl who did cartwheels [in] Busch Gardens that somebody would write a part for her one day, I would have laughed.”

Two great actors — Eileen At kins and Jonathan Pryce — are coming to Broadway in the fall in a terrific play called “The Height of the Storm.” It will be at the Friedman Theatre in October, directed by Jonathan Kent. Don’t miss it.

You can hear Michael Riedel weekdays on “Len Berman and Michael Riedel in the Morning” on WOR radio 710.

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