It’s not many musicals that can keep packing them in even in the aftermath of a blockbuster film version, but “Chicago” continues to do exactly that, in large part functioning as the ideal vehicle for singing celebrities; Huey Lewis minus the News is currently exhibiting his own “Razzle Dazzle” on Broadway as lawyer Billy Flynn, but the touring production that has touched down as part of Broadway in Chicago has resurrected an original “Dukes of Hazzard” star with Tom Wopat portraying Flynn. Lest this be taken as a gimmick, Wopat silenced skeptics the moment he appeared onstage dancing with grace and elegance and singing in a surprisingly resonant baritone far beyond what most have brought to the familiar role. Paige Davis, also known from television (“Trading Spaces”), was a bit more tentative though still serviceable as murderess Roxie Hart, though Brenda Braxton’s Velma Kelly nearly steals the show, which also includes the strong cast of Kevin Carolan as the unnoticeable husband with a conscience Amos Hart and Carol Woods shaking up the cellblock as “Mama” Morton. This revival production is now nearly a decade old, and the dialogue and staging have evolved to a razor’s edge in maximizing the variety-show format with even the superb stage band getting more and more in on the action of a really fun and lively show that also makes a profound point live that it cannot on film by having we, the audience, function as the jury. (Dennis Polkow)
“Chicago” plays at the Cadillac Palace Theatre, 151 West Randolph, (312)902-1400, through December 4.