Chicago the Musical Appreciation Thread

Patti LuPone FANatic
Broadway Legend
joined:3/4/06
Hello all. I tried to search for an existing Chicago the Musical Appreciation thread, but couldn't find anything. So, here it is. I just recently watched "Chicago" for the very first time, on March 17, 2011. Obviously, I had a blast...sitting in front of the stage. Leigh Zimmerman and Dylis Croman were fantastic in their roles as Velma / Roxie, respectively. The entire cast was on fire, especially R. Lowe and Jason Patrick Sands. Perhaps you'd like to share your "Chicago" experiences, once more. I especially would be fascinated to know the years you saw the show and your experiences at the stage door too. What specifically about the show did you like? Who are among some of your favorite "Chicago" actors? Yes, although Chicago has been around for 14 years or so, let's not take it for granted. I must admit that I am guilty of that....not thinking of seeing the show during the first four times I traveled to NYC. But now, having seen it finally, I am very much a fan of "Chicago". I most definitely plan on seeing it the next time I go to NYC. The people involved with it not only put on a great show, but they give so much of their time and effort to the community. If you are a "Chicago" fan, share the love, spread the word....and "all that jazz." from RC in Austin, Texas
Susan Haskins (Theatre Talk): "I love children. That's why I work with Michael (Riedel)."
MissAnneThrop
Broadway Star
joined:2/9/04
Have seen the revival more times than I care to admit. Always was one of my favorites to see when there was nothing else. I've seen it in all three of it's Broadway homes and loved it almost always. Some of the best Roxie's I saw were Sandy Duncan, Amy Spanger, Charlotte d'Amboise, Karen Ziemba. My fave Velma's were Donna Marie Asbury, Ruthie Henshall, Bebe Neuwirth, Ute Lemper, Vicki Lewis. My fav Mamas were Marcia Lewis, Jennifer Holliday, Michelle Pawk. Billy: Brent Barrett, James Naughton. Worst I saw was Lou Gossett Jr.
And I Am Always So Vitriolic
Patti LuPone FANatic
Broadway Legend
joined:3/4/06
Here's a cool Seth Rudetsky "Obsessed" with Ryan Lowe (Chicago). His voice is A-MA-zing! from RC in Austin, Texas
"Obsessed" with Ryan Lowe
Susan Haskins (Theatre Talk): "I love children. That's why I work with Michael (Riedel)."
bwayphreak234
Broadway Legend
joined:7/4/10
I've seen the tour every time it has hit my city and every time it is fantastic. It is the best Broadway revival in my opinion.
"There’s nothing quite like the power and the passion of Broadway music. "
Jon
Broadway Legend
joined:2/20/04
I liked it better when it was "Chicago - A Musical Vaudeville" and had a colorful set and costume changes. After a while, black on black gets tiresome.
Patti LuPone FANatic
Broadway Legend
joined:3/4/06
I like to think that "Chicago" has used the color black to very good effect. RC in Austin, Texas
Susan Haskins (Theatre Talk): "I love children. That's why I work with Michael (Riedel)."
Patti LuPone FANatic
Broadway Legend
joined:3/4/06
Having seen oodles of video clips of Roxie/Velma singing "Nowadays/Hot Honey Rag", I'd love to see two of the Men of Chicago tackle those songs/dance routines. Perhaps at some benefit? It would be fantastic. from RC in Austin, Texas
Susan Haskins (Theatre Talk): "I love children. That's why I work with Michael (Riedel)."
bryan2
Broadway Star
joined:12/19/06
I have seen chicago in London/Boston and 5 times in NYC
I have seen stars/and unknowns in it
(melanie/brooke/bebe/luba/maria friedman/ruthie) still my favorie show ever and I actually
have to get back to see it again..(i have to see it at least to see it every 2 years for a fix LOL
GREAT SHOW ALWAYS ENTERTAINING..PERFECT MUSICAL
bryan2
Broadway Star
joined:12/19/06
I have seen chicago in London/Boston and 5 times in NYC
I have seen stars/and unknowns in it
(melanie/brooke/bebe/luba/maria friedman/ruthie) still my favorie show ever and I actually
have to get back to see it again..(i have to see it every 2 years for a fix LOL )
GREAT SHOW ALWAYS ENTERTAINING..PERFECT MUSICAL
Updated On: 3/21/11 at 01:05 PM
broadwaydanwi
Stand-by
joined:2/25/08
I saw CHICAGO in Chicago with Charlotte d'Amboise and Jasmine Guy (first national tour). They gave much different performances from Ann Reinking and Bebe Neuwirth on Broadway, and they worked like a dream.

But I will always treasure the performances of Tari Kelly as Velma and Angela Iannone as Roxie in a Milwaukee production with full sets and costumes -- and the original book! In this production, it was fun to see the characters cheating during a card game in the second act. The scene is not necessary to the musical's plot, and I understand why it was cut in the current revival. But it was great to see it staged; it's a clever scene.
Patti LuPone FANatic
Broadway Legend
joined:3/4/06
I had a bit of luck sitting on the front row (March 17th). I did get to catch one of the roses that Velma Kelly (Leigh Zimmerman) threw to the audience. Also, I notice that the "Chicago" advertising seems to overwhelmingly focus on the Ladies of Chicago. Every once in a while, you notice some of the guys. I wish the Men of Chicago could receive a bit more coverage in the ads. Just wondering... RC in Austin, Texas
Susan Haskins (Theatre Talk): "I love children. That's why I work with Michael (Riedel)."
Broadway Legend
joined:12/31/69
I do miss the card game scene and some other small cuts--and I admit while I think Reinking's choreography is great (and obviously she uses the Fosse vocabulary--and his original choreography in Hot Honey Rag), when I see clips of the original numbers in his choreography I do kinda feel that Reinking's is just kinda watered down (specifically compare All I Care About Is Love from the Jerry Orbach Tony clip with a revival clip--smae basic routine, the girls with the feather fans, etc, but the actual steps from Fosse just work a bit better). Still, I will take Reinking's routines over Marshall's stylistically flat ones in the film any day.

I saw one of the early tours in Vancouver when I was 18--so prob around 1999 and it blew me away--Charlotte D'Amboise was Roxie (and shamefully I can't remember who was Velma, but Brent Barrett was Billy). Was a near perfect cast. Shortly after a different tour came, staring Alan Thicke and I just couldn't bring myself to go...
ghostlight2
Broadway Legend
joined:12/5/04
Oh yes, please, let's not bring the movie choreography into this. I love the stage show, and have seen an awful lot of diffrent casts, from the original, to the original revival on.

I like the male Hot Honey Rag idea. In fact, I think that would be a great Broadway Backwards/Broadway Miscast idea.

Of the recent Billy Flynns, Tom Hewitt, currently at Irondale's Treasure Island, is one of my favorites.
ZebLuvsJay
Chorus Member
joined:3/8/11
I miss the card game scene too. I see why it was cut, but it was a real "moment" in the show and held the action just long enough to add to the building tension rather than diminish it. Also, it was just plain funny.
The little show queen had just enough hours in the day to obsess about Sondheim, LuPone and porn star Zeb Atlas. Alone with his playbills and porn, he briefly wondered if there was a world outside his private triumvirate. The thought, however, was fleeting and he once again found himself online regurgitating second-hand opinions and parading his useless knowledge.
Updated On: 3/22/11 at 08:43 PM
Chorus Member
joined:12/31/69
It *is* funny. I dunno, I don't mind the black minimalistic revival look, and I do think that in some ways it helped lead to its success (I know my mom--who can be slightly prudish for lack of a better word--loved the revival, but finds some of the costumes from the original production she's seen a bit too sleazy I guess is the word, like the women in All I Care About is Love). It's funny, it's not like they're wearing much more clothes in the revival, actually, but it does kinda give the show an element of class that I think wasn't in Fosse's original vision (which to be fair he prob was right about).
ZebLuvsJay
Chorus Member
joined:3/8/11
"Sleazy" is right. So is "tawdry." Look at the original poster the girls looked like death warmed over. The revival brought a sleek sexy style to the show. Much more sellable to an audience being asked to cheer on two murderers.

I thought I remember reading that Fosse was going through a very bleak almost nihilistic personal period and that influenced his whole outlook on the show.
The little show queen had just enough hours in the day to obsess about Sondheim, LuPone and porn star Zeb Atlas. Alone with his playbills and porn, he briefly wondered if there was a world outside his private triumvirate. The thought, however, was fleeting and he once again found himself online regurgitating second-hand opinions and parading his useless knowledge.
ghostlight2
Broadway Legend
joined:12/5/04
Fosse had a personal period in his life that WASN'T very bleak and almost nihilistic?
Broadway Legend
joined:12/31/69
Ha, I was gonna say. But he did suffer a heart attack while working on Chicago right? Or wait was that Pippin? I mean even Pippin he essentially reconceived as a show about suicide, although it still covered up that fact in its original production that many audiences prob didn't even get it, or get upset by it. Whereas I think his vision of Chicago was genuinely too bleak and cynical for many--and while it's true that one reason the revival has done so well is that audiences "caught up to the subject matter" and it seemed ahead of its time, but I think the way the show does feel different in its almost concert, classy, performance style presentation did make a big difference in what audiences like as well.

(Wow that was a convulated, un clear sentence... Oh well :P )
ZebLuvsJay
Chorus Member
joined:3/8/11
ghostlight2, I think you are obsessing on me a little like your old time poster friend. Hope you don't follow your friend's example by harassing me with multiple posts declaring love for the guy in my avatar or using my username to title a thread full of lies.

I wouldn't want your "good standing" here on these boards questioned by your obvious cyber stalking.



The little show queen had just enough hours in the day to obsess about Sondheim, LuPone and porn star Zeb Atlas. Alone with his playbills and porn, he briefly wondered if there was a world outside his private triumvirate. The thought, however, was fleeting and he once again found himself online regurgitating second-hand opinions and parading his useless knowledge.
Updated On: 3/22/11 at 10:58 PM
AvenueQResident
Broadway Star
joined:7/23/07
I think even though this revival is very tired and relies heavily on stunt casting, it's good to have a show playing on both sides of the Atlantic where the spectacle lies in the choreography. A breath of fresh air, amidst all the big, blockbuster musicals.

And it's now one of the five-longest running Broadway productions of all-time. Good for it.
Everything in life...is only for now.
ghostlight2
Broadway Legend
joined:12/5/04
I'm pretty sure it was Chicago, not Pippin, Eric. .

ETA @ZebLuv: you start posting in a thread after I do and I'm the one doing the stalking? If you have something to say to me, send me a PM, don't threadjack. And maybe switch to decaf - I think that paranoia you talk about might be catching.
Updated On: 3/23/11 at 12:57 PM
wickedfan11
Broadway Star
joined:6/17/06
Where are the rush seats located? What time do people usually start lining up?
Patti LuPone FANatic
Broadway Legend
joined:3/4/06
I'm curious about a couple of things about the "Chicago" stage door. One, there weren't any metal barricades in place outside. I thought most theatres did that. Two, I was surprised that there weren't more people at the stage door. For those of you who have seen "Chicago", how has the stage door environment looked to you? I still have that "afterglow" of seeing "Chicago" for the first time on March 17th. I wish I could go there for Pride Weekend. Hmmm.. from RC in Austin, Texas
Susan Haskins (Theatre Talk): "I love children. That's why I work with Michael (Riedel)."
dramamama611
Broadway Legend
joined:12/4/07
There are few enough women dominated shows.....let the gals grab the attention for this one.

I'm bringing my HS group to see this in a few weeks. I hope they are on top of their game,Christie Brinkley will have just started so I'm hoping that will give them a new lease on it's life!
If we're not having fun, then why are we doing it? These are DISCUSSION boards, not mutual admiration boards. Discussion only occurs when we are willing to hear what others are thinking, regardless of whether it is alignment to our own thoughts.
bwayphreak234
Broadway Legend
joined:7/4/10
The thing I love about this show is that the staging, choreography, and the stark sleek beauty of the show make it a timeless production. The show is a true Broadway classic, and every time I see it I am just in awe of the production. The onstage orchestra in the jury box, the black costumes, and crisp lighting just make it even more stunning in a completely different way than any other Broadway show.
"There’s nothing quite like the power and the passion of Broadway music. "
TheLadyoftheWood
Leading Actor
joined:3/21/10
Sorry to thread-jack, love the show btw, but I have a quick question. Is the character of Mary Sunshine always cast the same way or have they had people of colors or races in the role as well? Can't wait so see the amazing Roz Ryan as Mama again. I <3 her!

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