|Michael A. Maynez|
“Chicago” The Musical
Head for The Ahmanson Theatre in Los Angeles, while you still can, for this incredible musical will play through July 5th. After that it will split up it’s current cast to play an extended run at the Shubert Theatre and partial run at the Orange County Theatre Complex. So why not see it with all three leads at one place?
This concert-cabaret style of the show is electric-blue. The energy from the cast is so contagious and outgoing. You wonder how they can do a matinee and a night performance. For some of the old timers, who can forget the marvelous performance in the movie “Roxie Hart”, starring Ginger Rodgers, of course it didn’t have the music and lyrics of John Kander and Fred Ebb, or the updated book by Fred Ebb and Bob Fosse, still it was quite memorable. Of course this tribute to Bob Fosse for his choreography, by his protégé Ann Reinking, she leaves her footprints all over the place with her liquid wax melting movements for all the dancers, and this is a razzle-dazzle dancing musical. With the orchestra on centerstage and all the performers sitting on the sidelines ready to do great soaring through the air.
Chalotte d’Amboise plays Roxie Hart, who kills her lover and her next line is, "I have to pee”. Her dancing makes up for trying to hard to be the naïve Jazz area darling of the media. She gets plenty of competition for a more sumptuous Velma, played by Jasmine Guy, whose dancing at top volcanic form and who does a “Cell-Block Tango” in which all the female inmates who are there for murdering their boy-friends or husbands, let you have it between the eyes with the song “He Had It Coming”.
If, “And All That Jazz” doesn’t do it for you. Well let Brent Barrett, a handsome hunk, that can sing, dance and even act plays the unscrupulous lawyer, Billy Flynn. He really is a throw back to what matinee idols use to be. His number “Razzle Dazzle”, is not only a dazzler, it is a showstopper. Ron Orbach is touching, tender and funny in his one number “Mr. Cellophane”. Avery Sommers outclasses herself, in “Whatever Happened to Class”, as a duet with Velma. The classy dancers deserve the starring roles they create, for you have first class top-notch dancers, that literally burn up the floor.
If you want a real high in theatre, dash to this spectacle and try to get tickets, they are already at premium.