re: PHOTO FLASH! Original 1975 Broadway production of Bob Fosse's CHICAGO!

BrodyFosse123
Broadway Legend
joined:2/27/06
For those curious ones... here are photos of the original 1975 Broadway production of Bob Fosse's CHICAGO.

And yes... you're welcome.



Model of Tony Walton's set design:


"All That Jazz" (Chita Rivera):


"Funny Honey" (Gwen Verdon):


"Cell Block Tango" (yup... my mom is in that group):


"We Want Billy" (yup... my mom is in this group as well):


"All I Care About" (Jerry Orbach):


"A Little Bit of Good" (M. O'Haughey):


"We Both Reached for the Gun":


"Roxie":




"I Can't Do it Alone":


"My Own Best Friend":


"Me and My Baby":


"Mister Cellophane" (Barney Martin):


"When Velma Takes the Stand":


"Razzle Dazzle":


The Trial Scene:


"Class" (Mary McCarty):


"Nowadays" (okay, I couldn't locate a photo of Gwen and Chita in this costume so for your enjoyment... here are their replacements from 1977: Ann Reinking and Lenora Nemetz!):


"R.S.V.P./Keep it Hot" aka "The Hot Honey Rag":


BONUS:

During the out-of-town tryouts they experimented with the costumes for the newly added "The Hot Honey Rag" number (which replaced "Loopin' the Loop"). They ended-up using the one posted above with the white tassles:



From out-of-town: The Finale' (before they threw the REAL roses out into the audience):


The June 1975 issue of AFTER DARK Magazine:





So what does that make you, Brody? A zero-trick pony? - Wanna Be A Foster .........................The only power brody wields is in his own mind, joe. But it's amusing to watch him pretend nonetheless. - tazber
maybethistime
Broadway Legend
joined:12/3/04
Is there a reason why the two girls wore different shoes in the finale out-of-town?

LuPonatic
Broadway Legend
joined:6/12/06
Justin D
Broadway Legend
joined:4/11/05
I like the set model, but there's something disturbing about old women in skanky outfits.
http://www.flickr.com/photos/27199361@N08/ Phantom at the Royal Empire Theatre
Scripps2
Broadway Legend
joined:1/19/08
"I like the set model, but there's something disturbing about old women in skanky outfits."

Wasn't that a deliberate decision in the original production? The fact that you feel disturbed was how the production team wanted you to respond.

Brody: if your Mom is one of the cell block tango women, she's presumably on the OBC - which is her line?
doodlenyc
Broadway Legend
joined:11/5/04
I loved After Dark magazine.
"Carson has combined his passion for helping children with his love for one of Cincinnati's favorite past times - cornhole - to create a unique and exciting event perfect for a corporate outing, entertaining clients or family fun."

"In Oz, the verb is douchifizzation." PRS

cello_dude
Leading Actor
joined:5/22/06
Leading Actor
joined:12/31/69
Great to see these all! As I've said before, love the polkadot briefs on the guys in Roxie (maybe I have a fetish for polkadots...)

It's always annoyed me that the original Chicago doesn't seem to have too many high quality colour photos--like ones that really show the set. Maybe cuz the set was dark with black lit and neon lights, etc.

""I like the set model, but there's something disturbing about old women in skanky outfits." "

Woot and Fosse wins! The original productionw as definetly much more skanky sleazy--not the sorta classy sleazy of the new production.
morosco
Broadway Legend
joined:7/10/04
Fosse's skanky sleazy CHICAGO was fantastic.
KathyGriffinLovesYou
Broadway Star
joined:9/19/08
ruthiefan_felix
Broadway Legend
joined:10/6/03
Great pixs! its really interesting to see how much of the looks of the characters were brought into the Rob Marshall movie!
All That Jazz Check out & support my drawings @ www.facebook.com/felixdrawings
BrodyFosse123
Broadway Legend
joined:2/27/06
Rob Marshall based his 2002 film adaptation of CHICAGO on Bob Fosse's original 1975 Broadway production.

He heavily payed homage to Bob Fosse and the show by incorporating numerous elements of the original stage production:

Roxie singing "Funny Honey" on top of a piano.
The ladies behind individual prison bars in the "Cell Block Tango".
Billy ending "We Both Reached for the Gun" with the glass of milk.
The red neon ROXIE sign in "Roxie".
Amos wearing the clown costume (with the oversized collar) in "Mister Cellophane".
The white tassled dresses for "The Hot Honey Rag".

... plus a few more.


So what does that make you, Brody? A zero-trick pony? - Wanna Be A Foster .........................The only power brody wields is in his own mind, joe. But it's amusing to watch him pretend nonetheless. - tazber
BrodyFosse123
Broadway Legend
joined:2/27/06
*Poof!* (duplicate post)
So what does that make you, Brody? A zero-trick pony? - Wanna Be A Foster .........................The only power brody wields is in his own mind, joe. But it's amusing to watch him pretend nonetheless. - tazber
Updated On: 11/25/08 at 09:58 PM
lusciouslace
Broadway Star
joined:11/9/07
Brody: These photos are awesome!! Thank you for sharing! I'm so curious now about your mom. Which one is she?
lusciouslace
Broadway Star
joined:11/9/07
Brody: These photos are awesome!! Thank you for sharing! I'm so curious now about your mom. Which one is she?
CurtisTaylorJr2
Leading Actor
joined:3/17/06
Great photos, looks like it was a fantastic production. The costumes here are even more revealing than the ones in the revival.
Updated On: 11/25/08 at 11:00 PM
Trish2
Broadway Star
joined:8/20/06
"I like the set model, but there's something disturbing about old women in skanky outfits.'

Well I give credit to any woman who can have bodies like that at their age, dance better than any chorus cutie, and bring the house down by uttering a simple phrase or verse.

BrodyFosse123
Broadway Legend
joined:2/27/06
Well... they weren't the old hags everyone is making them out to be.

Chita Rivera was only 42 years old when she played Velma and Gwen Verdon was only 50 years old when she played Roxie Hart. Bebe Neuwirth was 38 years old when she played Velma (she's now 50 years old).

Remember... Madonna is now the same age Gwen was. If THAT'S old for you guys, I guess Barbra Streisand is close to death at 66.

Madonna today, at 50:


Gwen Verdon at 50:



So what does that make you, Brody? A zero-trick pony? - Wanna Be A Foster .........................The only power brody wields is in his own mind, joe. But it's amusing to watch him pretend nonetheless. - tazber
Trish2
Broadway Star
joined:8/20/06
True Brody, but Madonna, Rivera, Verdon and Neuwirth are/were not the norm. Most women over 40 don't come close to those babes !
Broadway Star
joined:12/31/69
Though it has to be pointed out age, and women's ages and what society thinks, is diffferent now then it was 30 years ago when Chicago premiered. there's all those ridiculous articles about 60 being the new forty or whatever but there is some truth to that--for a variety of reasons. (I mean just like in 1951 Norma Desmond in Sunset is seen as ANCIENT when now she really wouldn't be).

And it's true Marshall paid a lot of ommage to the original--i wish he had kept the original Hot honey Rag though--I still don't like many of his decisions.
beaemma
Stand-by
joined:11/24/09
Both Velma and Roxie should have some mileage on them. Neither is a fresh young ingenue or a hot young babe. They've both been through the mill and have a desperate edge when they get their unexpected crime-driven renaissance.
all that jazz
Broadway Legend
joined:4/5/12
I would've given anything to see this show when it opened. Bob Fosse and Chita are two of my biggest idols.
GavestonPS
Broadway Legend
joined:6/10/12
Gwen Verdon
Chita Rivera
Jerry Orbach
Barney Martin
Mary McCarty
et al.

Was the original CHICAGO's cast the best ever assembled for a musical? Is there even another candidate?

As for the age of the stars, you are looking at still photos. The poster who said Velma and Roxie aren't supposed to be dewy-eyed young things is correct. But I was about 21 when it opened, saw the show many times, and I never thought of either woman as "old". On stage, they were so limber and energetic it really prevented you from thinking of them as middle-aged.

Updated On: 3/8/13 at 06:53 PM
EricMontreal22
Broadway Legend
joined:10/31/11
Gaveston--when you saw the original production, did you consider it too cynical?
GavestonPS
Broadway Legend
joined:6/10/12
The first time I saw it I did, Eric. My response was to admire the cast and the "razzle dazzle", but think "If you really believe people are so awful, then suicide would be more productive than writing a musical." (Let's all remember this was long before O.J.'s trial, much less Jody Arias'. Celebrity defendants getting off by means of publicity wasn't nearly so common (or so it seemed).)

I saw it a second time when Lenora Nemetz was on for Rivera. I thought the show improved, because Nemetz was great but not nearly as intense as Rivera and the entire evening seemed less aggressive.

The third time I saw it, Rivera was back, but I had an better understanding of the show and I could just marvel at the performances (particularly Rivera's).

By then I was hooked and didn't worry about the overkill the rest of the times I saw it.

But looking back, I think it was less the writing than the directing. Fosse just couldn't stop spewing bile and choices such as having the jury played by one actor with 12 grotesque masks--clever as it may sound--were just too much.

Which isn't to say I wasn't also awestruck by much of his staging!
best12bars
Broadway Legend
joined:6/29/05
I think it slipped past me the first time I saw this thread years ago, but your mom was in the OBC, BrodyFosse?

That's very cool.
"Jaws is the Citizen Kane of movies."
blocked: logan2, Diamonds3

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