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"Seinfeld" star John O'Hurley lights
up a jazzy classic "Chicago The Musical"

"Chicago The Musical"
Bank of America Theatre, Oriental Theatre
Chicago, IL
Feb. 26, 2009
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Story by Andy Argyrakis
Publicity photos

Ever since it opened on Broadway in 1975, "Chicago The Musical" has introduced the Windy City's prohibition era and its subsequent swinging sounds to younger generations. Aside from the original run starring the legendary Liza Minnelli (substituting for the ill Gwen Verdon), a movie version in 2002 with Renée Zellweger, Catherine Zeta-Jones and Richard Gere helped keep the buzz going, in turn, leading to subsequent touring revivals.

Its latest run through the city in which the script was inspired has its fair share of star power as well thanks to John O'Hurley (best known for playing J. Peterman on "Seinfeld" and also a slot in "Monty Python's Spamalot" and "Dancing With the Stars." Nonetheless, it's the book by Fred Ebb and Bob Fosse alongside the jazzy stylings of John Kander that continue to trump all the marquee names and truly brought the bygone era back to life.

Despite the retro setting, the tale of celebrity criminals Roxie Hart (played by a seductive Charlotte d'Amboise) and her rival Velma Kelly (an equally convincing Terra C. MacLeod) still applies to a TMZ-obsessed culture. But in between the ladies' murderous moments, catfights and the eventual media firestorm that envelopes the entire situation thanks to lawyer Billy Flynn (O'Hurley), there's plenty of classy, sassy and downright sexy tunes.

"All That Jazz" serves as a seductive finger snapper, the Vaudevillian "Cell Block Tango" takes the audience into the ladies' brazen prison surroundings, while the self-affirming "My Own Best Friend" offers a no-holds-barred autobiographical account of both main character's intentions. Fosse's chorography remains in sterling form come the feather-doused "Razzle Dazzle" and "Hot Honey Rag," which aren't exactly easy routines, but come across with effortless delivery from the colorful cast.

Though Billy is able to score major headlines for Roxie's trial (which ends in an acquittal), her fifteen minutes of fame quickly fade when the press immediately moves on to the next criminal frenzy. Nonetheless, she and Velma refuse to go down for the count, delivering one final dance number as the supreme showstopper, resolving to keep reaching for showbusiness superiority, even if the cameras no longer clamor.

"Chicago The Musical" continues through March 8 at the Ford Center for the Performing Arts, Oriental Theatre. For additional details, visit or

Chicago The Musical

Watch Cell Block Tango "Chicago The Musical"

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