With a system called rec-i-pro-city, “Chicago” was one of the most entertaining shows that I have attended at The Ordway to date. The Audience was engaged from start to finish, clapping, cheering, and I think I heard a few cat calls. I would suggest front row seats to get up close and personal with some of the dancers and their convenient shirtless costumes. Goodness gracious, if you need an idea for a bachelorette party this would be the show to see.
I now know why Broadway does practice runs of their shows in Minnesota. We are awesome audience members who love a good performance. I cheered along with the other audience members in the middle of songs because I felt connected to each and every character. It was a genuine cast who played their parts much closer to what I saw as the original meaning of what the characters were supposed to be like. Roxy Hart (Tracy Shayne) was not the shy, kind, and nice character that I have seen portrayed in the role before. She wants to be a star and will be ruthless to get to the top. Amos Hart (Ron Orbach) was hilarious, self deprecating, nerdy, and most importantly not boring. I dread the song, “Mister Cellophane” and think it is the worst song in the show. Not this time, I found myself laughing along and enjoying Ron Orbach’s choreography and movements.
The star of the show for me was Matron Mama Morton (Kecia Lewis-Evans) who stole the show with her voice. Mama knew how to work the audience with her tough love and introduced me to a new song called “Class” that I normally overlook.
Another standout performance came from Billy Flynn (John O’Hurley) who is famous for the role of “J. Peterman” on “Seinfeld”. Other performances of “Chicago” that I have attended missed the boat on this character by putting in someone famous who couldn’t sing at all. When this happens, you lose the magic in songs like “We Both Reached for the Gun” and “Razzle Dazzle” and it ruins the show. This was not the case with John O’Hurley, who delivered a wonderful performance with stunning vocals.
I cannot say enough about the wonderful cast. As an avid theatergoer I have seen “Chicago” several times. This version was different because of a smaller cast, a smaller set, and less props. There was only one part in the whole show that needed a bit more dazzle. Otherwise, in no way did smaller mean less entertaining. In fact, the “Cell Block Tango” was enhanced without the stupid jailhouse props that are usually used. The performers did not have to hide their voices behind any unnecessary props.
I am giving this version a round of applause because the second act did not suck. In the past, after watching the first act with most of the familiar hits in it, the second half seems boring and hard to stay awake during. The characters were witty and the humor carried me the songs that when listening, I usually wonder when they are going to be over and changed it to I don’t want this to be over. The humor of the exit music and the interaction between the characters and the orchestra made the difference. It tied up the show with a big red bow or rhinestone buckled shoes.
“Chicago” will be running from August 7th-12th at The Ordway. You can go to their website to find out how to get tickets to this show and other shows for the 2012-2013 season. Bring all of your friends, your bachelorette party, and your mother to see this show and enjoy it as much as I did. Oh, and get those front row seats too!
Many thanks to The Ordway for letting me participate in Blogger Night.
because don’t you deserve a sure thing?