When Brandy Norwood sits down at her vanity backstage to prepare for the evening's performance of Chicago, she's doing more than just ensuring her makeup stays intact through the high-octane dance numbers. "It's funny, on Broadway, you have to do your own makeup, so as I'm doing that, I'm literally and physically transitioning into the character," she tells InStyle. "I'm the one that's creating it. The red lipstick comes out, and when I put on the wardrobe, you can feel the transition." With an impressive discography and countless roles on film and TV under her belt, this is hardly the first time she has played a character, or been in a musical for that matter—Cinderella circa '97, anyone?—but taking on the role of Roxie Hart marks the star's big Broadway debut.
If you haven't had the chance to see the star in Chicago, Norwood's run as Roxie has luckily been extended through August 2nd. (Rumer Willis will take over the role thereafter.) While we're eager to see what Willis brings to the stage, there's no doubt that she'll have some big shoes to fill—that is, if Norwood doesn't grab her custom-fitted pair first. "I love the wardrobe, and all the undergarments that go with the dresses. It's all so layered and it was all created for my body, even the shoes and stockings," Norwood says. "I'm hoping I can keep my silver heels with the buckles, as well as the black lace shoes and boots, just to have."