As long as “murder, creed, corruption, violence, exploitation, adultery and treachery” continue to make headlines, the enduring Broadway musical “Chicago” will never go out of style. Sure, this six time Tony Award winning revival takes place nearly a century ago, but the circus of a story could just as easily captivate TMZ today, at least until the next major drama comes along and usurps the public’s short attention span.
Ingenious book writers Fred Ebb and Bob Fosse are just part of the equation surrounding “Chicago’s” ongoing appeal, which in the last 20 years alone has been produced in over 24 countries and 11 languages. The rest can be credited to John Kander’s memorable music and Ebb’s equally legendary lyrics…
For instance, murderess Velma Kelly (Terra C. MacLeod) starts out as the star of the Cook County jail and all the major newspapers, but once Roxie Hart (Dylis Croman) kills her extramarital lover and pleas self-defense, she flies past her cellmate to instant infamy. Naturally they’re both cold blooded killers, but with a whiz of a lawyer named Billy Flynn (“Seinfeld” alum turned “Dancing With The Stars” champ John O’Hurley), they not only score the public’s sympathy, but are spared of being hung.
Of course, ingenious book writers Fred Ebb and Bob Fosse are just part of the equation surrounding “Chicago’s” ongoing appeal, which in the last 20 years alone has been produced in over 24 countries and 11 languages. The rest can be credited to John Kander’s memorable music and Ebb’s equally legendary lyrics, whose classics such as “All That Jazz,” “My Own Best Friend,” “Me And My Baby” and “Razzle Dazzle” keep on transcending eras and culture.
This edition of “Chicago” also features the orchestra performing on stage behind the cast, all of whom often break the fourth wall for comedic conversations (except for Roxy’s extremely gullible and regularly ignored husband “Mister Cellophane”). And even if the star criminals aren’t able to stay in the celebrity spotlight past the heart-pounding finale, they still go out with the bang of “Hot Honey Rag,” accompanied by the glitzy pageantry and flashy choreography that’s more than earned its stripes as the longest-running American musical in Broadway history.