Seeing this production of “Chicago” reminded me what a great musical this is, from the Bob Fosse/Ann Reinking choreography to the Kander-Ebb score and songs (“All That Jazz”) to the sexy urban costumes and funny, sardonic book that turns Chicago’s twenties jazz age into a carnival of decadence. When a national tour rolls through town long after the Broadway heyday (there have been at least ten North American tours since the 1996 revival), you always worry that you’ll see a show that cuts corners in talent and in other ways and ends up being a shadow of itself. Happily, this is far from the case. John O’Hurley is famous for playing the quirky J. Peterman on “Seinfeld,” but his vocal mannerisms are absolutely perfect for unremittant cynicism of champion barrister Billy Flynn, and his singing ain’t bad either. Terra C. MacLeod and Tracy Shayne as rival murderesses-cum-celebrities-cum-vaudevillians Velma Kelly and Roxie Hart, respectively, are seasoned Broadway musical vets, and they bring the perfect mix of sex appeal and cynicism to their roles. With the orchestra stationed front and center on stage in a vertical black box—the conductor is a frequent part of little stage bits with the cast—the usable stage area is a tightly constrained area front and center. Fortunately Fosse’s signature moves—the crowded dancers, etc.—tend to require little space to work their magic. (Brian Hieggelke)
At the Oriental Theatre, 24 West Randolph, (800)775-2000. Through June 12. $30-$95.