“Chicago”–touring company review   Leave a comment

Chicago poster

In 1975 two musicals opened on Broadway one being “Chicago” and the other “A Chorus Line”. The latter took home all the Tony awards but “Chicago” didn’t fade away! The revival opened in 1996 and now is the longest-running musical revival, the longest-running American musical in Broadway history and in the second longest running musical only behind “The Phantom of the Opera”.

The tour, with many cast changes, began in 1997 but some things don’t change showing why this musical remains a hit starting with the score consisting of music by John Kander and lyrics by Fred Ebb containing what are already considered classics as “All That Jazz”, “Razzle Dazzle”, “Mr. Cellophane” and “Class”. The book, which is mostly told in song and dance, is by Fred Ebb and Bob Fosse with the latter doing the choreography which is recognized all over the world. In the revival Ann Reinking is given credit for the choreography ‘in the style of Bob Fosse’ and does a bang-up job having been in Fosse’s productions and his partner in their personal life.

With the 14 piece orchestra, conducted by Robert Billig, on stage and, basically one set with a slight change near the end, the leads, supporting players and stars are given a chance to shine and show off the costumes, mostly designed in black, the music and certainly the choreography.

The leads of Velma and Roxie are played by Terra C. MacLeod as the former and Bianca Marroquin as the latter. Both have a history with the show including playing their roles on Broadway and their duets of “Nowadays” and “Hot Honey Rag” at the finale brought the house to a standing ovation and a showed why “Chicago” is a fan favorite after 43 years.

Jaime Camil is making his “Chicago” debut as the lawyer Billy Flynn and the Miami audience welcomed this well known Spanish actor who has also become additionally known for his part in the television series “Jane the Virgin”. Another standout was Paul Vogt as Amos Hart who sings “Mr. Cellophane” and stopped the show. Jennifer Fouche, as Matron “Mama” Morton has the powerful pipes to belt out “When You’re Good To Mama” to the last row in the balcony. D. Ratell as Mary Sunshine is first rate.

There is no way you can see “Chicago” and ignore the ensemble, not that you would want to. They are sultry, sexy, fun and excel in the dancing whether as partners or a group or solo along with being good singers.

“Chicago” is a show you can visit again and again and enjoy every moment of it as if for the first time.

“Chicago” runs 2 hours and 25 minutes with a 20-minute intermission

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