Murder, Greed, Exploitation…Isn’t It Grand! (It is at the Bass Concert Hall!) by Joan Baker

2CE909985-BC54-72F6-1BA63B8C4C6B7B25Gangsters, speakeasies, dancing, booze and a really good time! That is Chicago and it is

playing through Sunday, November 24, 2013, at the Bass Concert Hall. This winner of 6 Tony

Awards holds the record for Longest Running American Musical in Broadway history.

Set in 1920’s Chicago, it is the story of Roxie Hart, a bored housewife, who shoots her

lover when he tells her he’s leaving. Roxie convinces her husband to take the rap and he

1.166089agrees…until he finds out the guy he supposedly murdered wasn’t a burglar, but his wife’s lover.

Roxie, played by Anne Horak, then finds herself caught in the underbelly of Chicago’s justice

system. She is incarcerated in Chicago’s Cook County Jail where she finds her cell mates

are other women accused of murder. Their lives are in the hands of Matron “Mama” Morton,

powerfully played by Carol Woods. Mama gets Chicago’s best to defend her girls…if they

can afford it. Enter Billy Flynn, played by John O’Hurley (J. Peterman of Seinfeld fame). How

despicable can one lawyer be? Meet Billy Flynn. Rounding out this cast of castaways is Velma,AnneHorak_IMG_7042

played by Terra MacLeod. Velma is also on trial for murder and doesn’t like Roxie stealing her

thunder, the spotlight, or Billy Flynn’s attention.

The first thing I noted about the production was the vocal power of the leads. Rather quickly,

I realized it was not just the leads. What a talented cast! Another standout component of this

show is the choreography. Of course, you say. After all, the original production was directed

and choreographed by Bob Fosse!!! The production numbers were amazing and the stamina

required for some of them was extraordinary. Yet they pulled it off without seeming to break a

The Chicago orchestra is positioned on the stage, framed as though a static picture. My first

reaction was it was going to be distracting, but the acting and dancing and singing were so

powerful that I was unaware of their presence except in the places where they entered the

On a final note…I neither take nor give a standing ovation lightly, but on opening night I saw

people standing and applauding before the final number was over! It seemed well-deserved.

Chicago runs through Sunday, November 24, 2013, at Bass Concert Hall. Performances are

Wednesday – Saturday 8:00 pm, Sunday 7:00 pm and matinee performances Saturday 2:00

pm and Sunday 1:00 pm. For tickets, go to


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