BWW Review: CHICAGO at The Kentucky Center For The Arts

BWW Review: CHICAGO at The Kentucky Center For The Arts

The Broadway classic CHICAGO has made it's way back to Louisville. Broadway's longest running American musical will soon celebrate 21 years of playing in New York City, and this season Louisville gets the chance to revisit and take part in the celebration. Since the show opened in New York in 1996 and the successful film adaptation was released in 2002, the musical is an household name and a destination in New York. Touring frequently through the years, I'm happy to report that this production is indeed timeless.

For those who don't know the story, it follows the parallel paths of Roxie Hart (Dylis Croman) and Velma Kelly (Lana Gordman), both on trial for murder, and sharing smooth and slimy lawyer Billy Flynn (Jeff McCarthy). As the show progresses, we learn that innocence or guilt doesn't play a role in how legal proceedings are conducted, both use the press to create a landscape of drama, only adding to their infamy and public fascination.

Croman as Roxie Hart is flawless. She effortlessly provides the ditz and dizziness of a wannabe vaudeville star, all while gliding beautifully across the stage performing Fosse's signature moves, arguably the hardest of all dance disciplines to master. Lana Gordon equally matches Croman by providing a sassier take on Velma Kelly. Her voice is wonderful, and she never misses a beat leading several complicated dance numbers. Jeff McCarthy's Billy is smooth and sly. He is in great voice, and takes advantage of his musical moments. Paul Vogot is a lot of fun as Roxie's dumb as a rock husband Amos. He brings high comedy whenever he's onstage, and has the audience in the palm of his hands as he croons "Mister Cellophane." Last but not least is the fabulous Jennifer Fouche as Mama Morton, the Matron of the Cook County Jail. She wails her solos like nobody's business.

Visually there's not a lot here, but there in is the beauty of it. This production is based in a City Center Encores! concert production where the costumes are minimal and it gives the audience the chance to focus on the story, and some of the best choreography to ever grace a stage. Not to mention the 14 piece orchestra that plays onstage, which only adds to the unique fun that is CHICAGO. I must also give props to one of the most beautiful ensembles I've ever seen. This show is no easy task, and these dedicated performers nailed it.

If you're looking for a fun and flashy night at the theater, CHICAGO fits the bill. It's dripping with vibes of "classic broadway" and will easily remind you why you love it if you're return, or very well could have you falling in love with it for first timers. Check it out while it's here, because there's no telling when you'll have another chance.


January 23 - 28, 2018

Whitney Hall in The Kentucky Center for the Arts

501 W. Main Street

Louisville, KY 40202

(502) 584-7777

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From This Author Taylor Clemons

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