Review: CHICAGO THE MUSICAL at Robinson Center

Celebrating 25 years of Razzle Dazzle

By: Mar. 22, 2023
Review: CHICAGO THE MUSICAL at Robinson Center
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Review: CHICAGO THE MUSICAL at Robinson Center

When a scantily clad beauty took the stage at Robinson Center in Little Rock Friday, March 17, and said "Welcome, ladies and gentlemen - you are about to witness a story of murder, greed, violence, exploitation, adultery and treachery: all those things we hold near and dear to our hearts," we knew CHICAGO THE MUSICAL - America's longest running musical in Broadway History - was going to be something special. For two days, the APEX Touring Company Fosse'd their way into Central Arkansas' heart and gave us a "Razzle Dazzle" experience that will keep us singing for a long time.

Review: CHICAGO THE MUSICAL at Robinson Center With Book by Fred Ebb & Bob Fosse, Music by John Kander, Lyrics by Fred Ebb, original Choreography by the amazing Bob Fosse, and based on the play by Maurine Dallas Watkins, CHICAGO THE MUSICAL follows the story of murderesses on death row trying to gain their freedom. Vaudeville star Velma Kelly (Logan Floyd) and wanna-be star Roxie Hart (Katie Frieden) are the focal leads of the musical, but there is an array of characters that capture your attention throughout the show. Though Amos Hart (Brian Kalinowski) begins to confess to Sergeant Fogarty (Robert "Shapiro Garris) during "Funny Honey" that he shot Fred Casely (Ed Gotthelf), the story unravels and Hart ends up going to jail. Once there, Hart meets the "six merry murderesses of Cook County Jail"-Liz (Megan Campbell), Annie (Jasmine Janae), June (Jess DiForte), Hunyak (Liz Lester), Mona (Liz Lester) and Velma Kelly as they let Hart know why they all 'had it coming' in my favorite song "Cell Block Tango." Shortly, Hart is introduced to Matron "Mama" Morton (the fabulous Christina Wells) during my second favorite song "When Your Good to Mama." To get Hart out of jail, she is introduced to Billy Flynn (Jeff Brooks), who has Marry Sunshine (G.A. James) writing the best compassionate stories. The story plays out, and the girls finish out with a show their own show. Review: CHICAGO THE MUSICAL at Robinson Center

There is good reason why this show is now on its 25th year. This cast is wonderful. Floyd and Frieden commanded the stage and proved why their names deserved to be in lights. Their disdainful chemistry for each other was felt throughout the performance, but their team work in their songs were brilliant. In fact, the whole cast nailed those Fosse moves. Even as a non-dancer, I felt the respect that the cast had during their execution for the original choreography. It was amazing! James proved to be a crowd favorite, especially once Marry Sunshine's hair was yanked, and Brooks was a very charismatic Billy Flynn. Once Wells was finished with her introduction song, I thought that she would make a good Ursula, and when I looked at her bio during intermission, I was pleased with myself to see that she already has mastered that character. The one who got the most aaaaaawwwwwwws from the audience was the loveable "Mister Cellophane" Kalinowski as Amos. He really touched all of hearts...bless him.

Review: CHICAGO THE MUSICAL at Robinson Center The musical was more concert style, so the set really didn't have much. I did love that the orchestra was up on some risers for the whole audience to see. Conducted by Cameron Blake Kinnear, who occasionally had a few lines, this band really wowed with their level of musicianship. I had as much fun watching the musicians as I did the cast. The Orchestra consists of: Piano-Jacob Kidder; Reed 1-Randell Lee; Reed 2-Heather Kriesel; Reed 3-Clay Steiner; Trumpet 1-Josh Ganci; Trumpet 2-Will Esposito; Trombone-Andy Sharkey; Banjo-Dylan DelGiudice; Tuba/Bass-Adam Hammer; and Drums-Jason Chafatelli.

To follow where the tour is headed next, check out their website at https://chicagoontour.com.

Review: CHICAGO THE MUSICAL at Robinson Center

To see what Celebrity Attractions is bringing to Robinson Center, visit their website at https://www.celebrityattractions.com.

Broadway World would like to thank Jeremy Daniel- for these wonderful pictures! Check out his website at https://www.jeremydanielphoto.com to see all the remarkable work he has done. I'm impressed!

Review: CHICAGO THE MUSICAL at Robinson Center




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