"Chicago"The Musical Review- Broadway In Chicago presents the award-winning musical

“Broadway in Chicago” and producers Barry and Fran Weissler have brought the multiple Tony award winning musical “Chicago” to the Cadillac Palace Theatre, 151 W. Randolph, for a limited engagement from May 10-15, 2016. Starring John O’Hurley, best known as “J. Peterman” on “Seinfeld” as Billy Flynn, Dylis Croman as Roxie Hart, Terra C. MacLeod as Velma Kelly, Paul C. Vogt as Amos Hart, Roz Ryan as Matron “Mama” Morton and D. Ratell as Mary Sunshine, the polished performance of the beloved book by Fred Ebb and Bob Fosse with music by John Kander and lyrics by Ebb, is directed by Rob Fisher and Rob Bowman.

The cast of Broadway's "Chicago"; photo courtesy of Jeremy Daniel

The scene is set in Chicago in the late 1920”s, and is a song and dance spectacle about legal and marital corruption and the relentless thirst for fame of two man-murdering vaudeville wanabees and their jail matron, joint corrupt lawyer, one duped husband, and a transvestite reporter. This is a tale, we are told, of “murder, greed, corruption, exploitation, violence, corruption, and treachery”.

Dylis Croman as Roxie Hart; photo courtesy of Jeremy Daniel

There are 21 great musical numbers performed by the all white but one cast, and the dancing and physical capering is first rate; particular kudos goes to the hunky male dancers.  Especially entertaining is Dylis Croman during “We Both Reached For The Gun”, in which she performs as a marionette while O’Hurley, as her lawyer, is rearranging her murder into a tale of self-defense. After all, as O’Hurley tells us with relish and panache, “It was a murder but not a crime!” The sexy black shimmering costumes by William Ivey Long-with the notable exception of a poorly fitting men’s blazer worn by Croman, with sleeves that covered her hands- add a touch of night-life sparkle, although they were not ever changed!

The men in the cast; photo courtesy of Jeremy Daniel

The best part of the show is Chicago’s orchestra, conducted with real flair and gusto by Rob Bowman. They played even during part of the intermission, and Bowman took part in the action on stage, joking effortlessly with the cast. As for sheer lung capacity and bravura showmanship, Roz Ryan stole the show in her rendition of “When You’re Good To Mama”, belting it out with relish in a deep and honeyed tone. However, the two female leads, particularly in their joint numbers, including “My Own Best Friend”, “Nowadays” and “Hot Honey Rag”, demonstrated sheer delight in their duets, and lots of vim and verve. The most lovable character was Paul C. Vogt as the sorely tested and grimly determined cuckolded husband of Roxie- the audience was with him all the way, especially when he finally wises up!

Roz Ryan; photo courtesy of Jeremy Daniel

Probably the best company piece was “The Cell Block Tango”, in which MacLeod as Velma leads 6 other alleged murdresses in an edgy and sharp rendition of this clever Broadway classic.

Cellblock solo, Terra Macleod; photo courtesy of Paul Kolnik

With set design by John Lee Beatty, who creates a nightclub atmosphere even in the hilarious trial scene, and unstoppably strong lighting elements by Ken Billington, this “Chicago” looks and feels classy.

The cast of "Chicago"; photo courtesy of Jeremy Daniel

 

For information and tickets on this and other great “Broadway In Chicago” performances, go to the Broadway in Chicago website

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