BWW Review: Eddie George Kills It in CHICAGO!
"Murder, greed, corruption, violence, exploitation, adultery, treachery..." Where else can you find such debauchery wildly entertaining and darkly alluring? Winner of six Tony Awards, two Olivier Awards, a Grammy, and the longest running show on Broadway, there's no wonder why former NFL superstar and Heisman Trophy winner, Eddie George, teams up with CHICAGO as he debuts in his hometown and kills it in his role as the smooth-talking lawyer, Billy Flynn.
Set in the early 1920s, CHICAGO tells the story of Roxie Hart and Velma Kelly, two sexy murderesses who fight for attention and fame amid a crime-ridden city. They hire Chicago's slickest criminal lawyer to transform their malicious homicides into a barrage of sensational headlines.
As Roxie Hart, Dylis Croman is childishly selfish as she desperately attempts to gain notoriety for her malicious actions. Sexy yet slyly dimwitted, Croman aptly uses her sex appeal to manipulate her gullible husband Amos so that she can get an acquittal and ultimately rise to stardom. Her solos, "Me and My Baby" and "Roxy" were equally funny as they were compelling, allowing her extensive vocal and emotional range to shine through.
Lana Gordon plays the queen vixon, Velma Kelly, who uses every ounce of razzle dazzle to remain in the limelight of the media and preserve her Vaudeville career. Gordon is dynamic, seductive, and clearly a seasoned performer as she captures the audience's attention with each sensuous move. "All That Jazz," "When Velma Takes the Stand," and "I Can't Do It Alone" were electric, powerful, and show-stopping.
Paul Vogt plays the naive, simple-minded Amos who is easily manipulated by his sexy, voluptuous wife. Vogt is timid, charming, and sheepishly funny as he wins the audience with his powerfully endearing performance of "Mister Cellophane."
As Matron "Mama" Morton, Jennifer Fouche is brash, powerful, and commands both the stage and her prison. It's clear who's the top dog when she sings a potent "When You're Good to Mama" and solidifies her role.
Former OSU running back and Heisman Trophy winner returned to his hometown to razzle dazzle Buckeye and theatre fans alike. He was met with huge applause the moment he stepped on stage as the suave, persuasive lawyer who only cares about..... Love, of course. With his grand stature, pearly white smile, and devilish eyes, George gives us a performance to die for, as he is properly poised and swoons smoothly to attack his prey like a bigheaded shark. Adding to his already stellar resume, George surprises us with his impressive vocal chops, which is especially evident in "All I Care About" and "We Both Reached for the Gun."
Much like the scantily clad cast, the stage is stripped bare of grandiose sets to reveal the raw, potent music and alluring Fosse choreography. The dynamic orchestra led by Director Robert Billig is elevated onstage in tiered seating to showcase the jazzy vaudeville-style score by John Kander and Fred Ebb.
"Cell Block Tango" led by Lana Gordon, is always a show-stopping number that profiles each prisoner's tantalizing and unapologetic murder. Lana Gordon, Lauren Gemelli, Tiffany Mellard, Laura Oldham, Sophie Lee Morris and Celia Mei Rubin gave an intensely ravenous performance that overflowed with raw sexuality.
CHICAGO is a testament to our insatiable craving for sex, crime, and fame in the darkened era of the 1920s. One of the most electrifying musicals of all time, you won't want to miss this mega award-winning hit starring a legendary hometown hero.
CHICAGO, featuring Eddie George, will play the Palace Theatre thru February 11. Tickets start at $34 and can be purchased at the CAPA Ticket Center (39 E. State St.), all Ticketmaster outlets, and online at www.ticketmaster.com. To purchase by phone, please call (614) 469-0939 or (800) 745-3000. Orders for groups of 20 or more may be placed by calling (614) 719-6900.
For more information visit www.ChicagoTheMusical.com.