Saturday, March 28, 2015

review- CHICAGO- National Tour: ASU/Gammage

Photo: Paul Kolnik
For information on this production that runs through March 29th, click here.

"The touring company of "Chicago" is back at Tempe's ASU Gammage for a three-night stand, and it has all of the old "Razzle Dazzle" fans expect, from the smoky-hot onstage jazz band to the unabashedly sensual dance numbers "in the style of Bob Fosse." Terra C. MacLeod is the sultry and (sometimes) sophisticated Velma Kelly, a vaudeville star who claims to have no memory of killing her husband and her sister. Dylis Croman is her déclassé rival-in-crime, Roxie Hart, who hopes to parlay publicity of her upcoming murder trial into a showbiz career of her own. And John O'Hurley — best known as J. Peterman from TV's "Seinfeld" — is their slick, smarmy lawyer, Billy Flynn.  Anyone who thinks O'Hurley is an example of celebrity gimmickry hasn't heard O'Hurley's musky baritone. No doubt this is a case of type-casting, but the actor's goofy gravitas, not to mention his perfect shock of white hair, is so perfect for the role that no one could possibly complain.  But it's Croman's brassy, crass but somehow winsome performance that reveals the heart of "Chicago." In the confessional musical monologue "Roxie," she offers striptease glimpses of fragile humanity behind the cynical artifice that drives her character, the plot and the staging. Yet, despite the in-your-face sexuality of this acerbic satire, there is a remarkable subtlety at work. This is one musical that isn't afraid to stop for a breath, to let the moment sink in and the sinuous score and sly lyrics slip under your skin. So many Broadway shows seem desperate to please, but not "Chicago." "Chicago" is confident enough in the strength of its music and its storytelling. It knows you cannot help but be seduced." -Kerry Lengel, Arizona Republic (click here to read the complete review)

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