musical adaptation of the book by Fred Ebb & Bob Fosse music by John Kander, lyrics by Fred Ebb
October 16-17, 2012 @ 8pm
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.