Review: Chicago Far From That ‘Toddlin’ Town’

The cast and production are so assured that it plays like a well oiled machine.

woman in lingerie strike a pose

Photo: courtesy the IU Auditorium

Slick lawyer Billy Flynn's posse.

Event Information

Chicago

musical adaptation of the book by Fred Ebb & Bob Fosse music by John Kander, lyrics by Fred Ebb


IU Auditorium

October 16-17, 2012 @ 8pm

812-855-1103

iuauditorium.com

Chicago at the IU Auditorium is far from that “toddlin’ town” of the old song. It’s the city of “All That Jazz.” Chicago is a show whose music with its rhythmical sharp angles fits perfectly with the equally angular  Bob Fosse style choreography. It all works in the darkness of John Lee Beatty’s scenic design, accented with Ken Billington’s lighting.

The cast are all veterans of Chicago. Some come from the show on Broadway, some from the show in Chicago and some from national and even international tours. A few have been in all three. The strength of their solos and the brief choral parts was very impressive. And the dancing is just so athletic and secure that the moves just flow.

Terra MacCleod was a hit as the tough as nails Velma. Tracy Shayne nicely balanced the duos in her role as the more youthful Roxie Hart. Corey Bright was sympathetic as Roxie’s much sinned against husband. Kecia Lewis-Evans  as the prison matron, made the song “When You’re Good to Mama” very much her own with a bit of a very high flying ending.

Brian O’Brien as the slick lawyer Bill Flynn was a skilled actor and a strong singer. Flynn’s entrance as part of a burlesque  show style fan dance drew laughter from Tuesday night’s crowd.  The eloquently  warbling sob sister journalist, Mary Sunshine was played by an actor identified as  only as D. Micciche, leaving those in the know to wink and the rest to wonder until the surprise ending.

The orchestra for Chicago  is a large one for a touring company with a dozen musicians that are all neatly framed in the center of the set. Conductor Eric Barnes occasionally paused in his skillful pacing to do a bit of effective acting.

 

George Walker

George Walker was born in Winchester, Virginia, and raised in Owl’s Head, Maine, and Valhalla, New York. After graduating from the University of Michigan, he came to Bloomington in 1966 and completed an M.A.T. degree in English at Indiana University. George began announcing for WFIU in 1967. Currently, along with regularly hosting classical music shows, he interviews artists in a wide variety of areas and reviews plays and operas. He’s the proud father of grown sons Ben Walker (and his wife Elise Katzif Walker) and Aaron Walker. In his time away from WFIU, George enjoys an active life with wife Carolyn Lipson-Walker, singing, reading, exercising and playing guitar.

View all posts by this author »

What is RSS? RSS makes it possible to subscribe to a website's updates instead of visiting it by delivering new posts to your RSS reader automatically. Choose to receive some or all of the updates from Indiana Public Media Arts & Music:

Support For Indiana Public Media Comes From

Search Arts and Music

Stay Connected

RSS e-mail itunes Facebook Twitter Flickr YouTube

What is RSS? RSS makes it possible to subscribe to a website's updates instead of visiting it by delivering new posts to your RSS reader automatically. Choose to receive some or all of the updates from Indiana Public Media Arts & Music:

Recent Theatre & Dance Stories

Theatre & Dance Events RSS icon

More Events »Submit Your Event »

Arts & Music is on Twitter

Find Us on Facebook

Our Photos on Flickr