LATEST: Ashlee Simpson has signed on to play murderous vixen ROXIE HART in the London run of the musical Chicago. After weeks of speculation, Simpson kicked off rehearsals for the legendary musical in a New York City studio on Monday (28AUG06). Chicago producer BARRY WEISSLER confirmed the news to American publication Star, saying, "Yes, it is true. Ashlee Simpson is joining the cast of Chicago in London. "We are very excited and are looking forward to gauging the London audience reaction." The deal for Simpson to star in the play was finalised this past weekend (ends27AUG06) and she will appear onstage in October (06) in London's West End. According to a source, "Ashlee's a dancer; her background is in dance. She wants to do live theatre. "This will put all of those critics to rest. She's always wanted to be on stage, but she got diverted when she started selling so many albums." Simpson's Chicago role follows Usher's decision to join the cast in New York. He's currently playing BILLY FLYNN on Broadway, where he's receiving lukewarm reviews.