Congrats to the entire cast and crew of CHICAGO the Musical at Sacramento Music Circus! Well-earned 4 star review. Very proud of you all.
And there’s something nice said about me, but that’s not the point 🙂
All that Fosse. And yes it can be said here, “All that Jazz” has finally come to the Music Circus. The deconstructed but still fully entertaining 1996 revival of the Bob Fosse, John Kander and Fred Ebb musical “Chicago” almost nonchalantly sizzles as its sexy cast struts across the circular stage. From the first entrance of Aaron Felske’s bare-armed announcer there were hoots and wolf whistles from the crowd, and that could have gone on forever as the cast supplied beefcake and cheesecake all night long.
That type of purient sexuality would eventually become part of the production’s furniture (if the bare set actually had any beyond a few chairs) because the seductive boudoir-based costumes never change. The women in black bras, garter belts and stockings don’t ever cover up. The men in black trousers and open black vests never change, either. Still, to focus solely on the Fosse-centric celebration of the flesh would miss the point. The greatness of this revival remains how it distills the spectacular original 1975 production and somehow, less really does become more.
Based on a 1926 play called “Chicago” by Maurine Dallas Watkins, a journalist turned playwright and screenwriter who covered the real-life sensational murder trials that form the basis of the fictional story, Fosse seized on the satirical possibilities. Watkins’ reporting and play focused on two accused women who claimed to be corrupted by men and the breathless coverage their “stories” in Chicago’s seven daily papers of the time. Fosse turned it all into a cynical, winking homage to vaudeville and show business.
(Roz) Ryan confidently belts “When You’re Good to Mama” while the beautifully voiced (Tom) Hewitt has superb turns on “All I Care About” and the comic masterpiece “We Both Reached For the Gun.” Ric Stoneback’s Amos Hart takes on the somber Bert Williams tribute “Mr. Cellophane” and Hewitt nearly stops the show with “Razzle Dazzle.” The ensemble’s fabulous Fosse-inspired dancing was finely choreographed by Randy Slovacek.
It’s hard to believe the Music Circus has never staged “Chicago” before, but this top-shelf, extended-run production makes up for much of that omission.
FOX40 had this to say: “Had a great time at Sacramento Music Circus’ last show of the season – CHICAGO was awesome. This is the first time that ‘Chicago’ has been performed in the round. If you’ve seen ‘Chicago’ before, you’ve never seen it like this!”
UPDATE: A few more reviews have come in, so to be fair, I thought I’d include them also: