‘Chicago’ the musical in its namesake town

Chicago the musical is at the Cadillac Palace Theatre. (Photo by Catherine Ashmore)
Chicago the musical is at the Cadillac Palace Theatre. (Photo by Catherine Ashmore)

3 stars

”Chicago,” the sardonic, jazzy, vaudeville-style musical written by lyricist Fred Ebb, composer John Kander with  book by Ebb an Bob Fosse, is in its namesake town for just a week as it continues to make the rounds.

Fosse’s choreography in conjunction with Ann Reinking’s choreography in Fosse’s style for the 1997 New York production are skillfully performed by the company and the two female leads, Dylis Croman as Roxie Hart and Lana Gordon as Velma Kelly.

The Fosse style, Croman’s big number “Roxie” plus “When You’re Good to Mama,” sung by Jennifer Fouché and “Mister Cellophane” sung by Paul Vogt as Amos Hart make the current touring show worth seeing.

Just don’t expect quite the high level of razzle-dazzle of the original 1975 show or the 1996 revival or the 2002 film version that won the Academy Award for Best Picture.

Eddie George who has moved from the NFL to acting in Nashville companies, is an OK Billy Flynn but not in the same personality category as Richard Gere in the movie or at the song and dance guy level of Jerry Orbach in the Broadway production.

This version needs to turn up the heat on its famed “Cell Block Tango” which seemed a bit going-through- the-motions tired.

However, the show is fun to watch. The orchestra, conducted by Andrew Bryan, is still on stage as the main set-design element and its vaudeville-style, bring-them-on performances across the front of the stage is still entertaining.

“Chicag0” is at the Cadillac Palace Theatre, 151 W. Randolph St., Chicago through May 12, 2019. Running time: 2 hours, 30 minutes with one intermission. For tickets and other information visit Broadway In Chicago.

Jodie Jacobs

For more shows visit Theatre in Chicago