The dangerous dames and all that jazz from Chicago have kicked Les Misérables down the list of the top three longest-running shows in Broadway history.

Thursday night's staging of the Tony-winning musical marked its 6,681st performance, allowing Chicago to step into third place in the tally of Broadway's longest-running shows.

The scathing 1920s-set satire follows a pair of female murder suspects as they try to scheme, finesse and finagle their way to fame and freedom by manipulating a crime-and-celebrity-obsessed press corps, all with the help of their charismatic and crafty defence lawyer. 

'This production has exceeded my wildest expectations time and time again' —Producer Barry Weissler

It includes catchy songs such as All That Jazz, Roxie, Cell Block Tango and Razzle Dazzle.

The current production, playing at the Ambassador Theatre, is an edgy revival that's been running for 17 years.

"This production has exceeded my wildest expectations time and time again," producer Barry Weissler said in a statement to industry publication Playbill.

"This is truly a remarkable day, and on behalf of the entire Chicago company, I want to thank the legions of fans and beloved audience members worldwide who have helped our show achieve this incredible milestone in Broadway history."

The longest-running Broadway shows are:

  1. The Phantom of the Opera (ongoing)
  2. Cats (closed in 2000)
  3. Chicago (ongoing)
  4. Les Misérables (closed in 2003)
  5. The Lion King (ongoing)

The production has a way to go before potentially cracking the top two slots: The Phantom of the Opera (which is still running) has had 10,356 performances, while Cats (which closed in 2000) had 7,485.

The brainchild of musical theatre icon Bob Fosse, Chicago first debuted on Broadway in 1975, with Gwen Verdon, Chita Rivera and Jerry Orbach in the lead roles. That edition ran for about 900 performances.

Over the years, the Chicago revival has seen a host of theatre greats and celebrities join its cast, including Bebe Neuwirth, Joel Grey, Melanie Griffith, Usher, Brooke Shields and Huey Lewis. Country singer and actor Billy Ray Cyrus is featured in the current cast.

Tours have brought the musical to 24 countries worldwide.

The revival also spawned a star-studded, Oscar-winning movie adaptation, directed by Rob Marshall and headlined by Renee Zellweger, Catherine Zeta-Jones and Richard Gere.