June 22, 1998
'Chicago' heats up the Paramount
by Deborah Stone
The Tony Award-winning revival of "Chicago," now playing at the Paramount Theatre, is a sizzling, jazzy 1920s revue that features a parade of Broadway showstopping tunes and flashy dance numbers all done to flawless perfection. Adultry, murder, sex and mayhem all figure prominently in the tabloidesque plot that features a pair of homicidal nightclub dancers, a smarmy, shrewd lawyer and a scandal-hungry press. Everyone's driven by the need to capture headline status and be the celebrity of the moment.
Although rechoreographed by Ann Reinking, Bob Fosse's original stylized look is still very evident in the snappy, sensuous moves of the singer-dancer chorus. Their long legs make every kick a "wow-em" sight and each swivel and strut gives new meaning to the word limber.
Stephanie Pope as Velma and Belle Calaway as Roxie, the two infamous showgirls, ooze talent. Pope has a rich, velvety voice and sleek, sinewy movements, while Calaway sparkles with spunk and moxie. Supporting actors Alan Thicke, as the barricuda lawyer with an inflated ego, Michael Tucci as Roxie's shleppy husband Amos and Lea DeLaria as the tough talking Mama Warden all take to their roles with gusto.
An onstage band led by Rob Bowman performs Kander and Ebbs' infectious music with pizzaz and style. The simple, yet sophisticated set design allows audiences to fully appreciate the talents of the actors without any distractions. "Chicago" is an evening of dazzling, knock 'em' dead entertainment that guarantees not to disappoint. The show runs through July 5th. For ticket information call 206-292-ARTS.