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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    Review: ‘Chicago’ wraps up Broadway in Tucson on a high note
    Dennis Beck

    The opening night of Broadway in Tucson’s presentation of “Chicago” had all that jazz, sex, murder and more. It transformed Centennial Hall into an observation hall of 1920s sin.

    For starters, most of the buzz around this cast is unsurprisingly around the role of attorney Billy Flynn being filled by former NFL star Eddie George. But that title is not all we care about: George tells us what his character really cares about, which is mon—love. But also, money.

    “Chicago” has seen lots of money throughout the years. It claims to be the longest-running American musical in Broadway history, having been first conceived in 1975. It still operates within a 1920s setting.

    Although it was written by Fred Ebb and Bob Fosse, “Chicago” was composed by John Kander. The music is so iconic you could not have grown up without encountering at least one of its show-stopping tunes.

    These famous numbers were performed Thursday night by the cast honored to represent on the current U.S. tour, including Terra MacLeod as Velma Kelly, a role she has reprised for the past 12 years. MacLeod is successful at what she does—she has been nominated for and won multiple awards. After seeing her as wild Kelly in this show, one cannot help but sense the woman was born for this part and that it has become a chapter in her life as natural as any other. We can only hope it doesn’t come to an end anytime soon.

    Along with George and MacLeod , Dylis Croman, Paul Vogt and Roz Ryan, as Roxie Hart, Amos Hart and Matron “Mama” Morton, respectively, graced the Centennial Hall stage. Croman played MacLeod’s counterpart of Hart without shame, as there is no other way to do it. She stole her limelight, plans and lawyer. But this couldn’t last forever.

    Ryan’s Morton managed to be the quirkiest in a cast of some the craziest characters on Broadway, making her reciprocal prowess known to the audience, with whom she enjoyed interacting and making laugh.

    “Chicago” is a nostalgic and powerful show with a minimalist set and props, but a whole lot of swinging, teasing, confession and doubly durable deceit. Following initial performances, George spoke to the New York Times.

    “Man, it felt like game time,” George said. “This is what you live for — like when you leave the tunnel and run onto the field.”

    Although he was not bouncing around unnecessarily—he actually glided and sang like an angel, as has been described of his stage presence—George brought an expected authority and power to Centennial Hall. This power, however, may not have been enough to keep everyone through the second half of the show, as there were clear, empty seats and tired people who only reacted to the first few songs.

    None the less, whether you have seen this performance live before, as a movie or have just been hearing the songs your whole life, if you come for a bountifully bodacious Broadway performance, you will thank your butt for staying in those red chairs and your bladder for holding it all in. Catch it through the rest of this weekend only. 


    Follow Gretchyn Kaylor on Twitter.

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