Friday, March 31, 2006

Chicago - Sacramento Convention Center

Though this is not yet in Seattle, the touring cast came through Sacramento, CA while I was there so I had the opportunity to see it there!

Welcome to The Roaring 20's! This show is all about the Razzle Dazzle of this era and this particular production encapsulates it as well as any could. The most striking and individual aspect of this show is John Lee Beatty's set design. The cabaret-style with the orchestra at center stage gives the production a liver-than-live feeling. Seeing the orchestra in action and involving them in the plot makes for a fantastic feeling of realism. Not the realism that makes one say "this is happening" but the kind of realism that makes one say "this show is happening and this show is live and alive!"

Michelle DeJean's performance as Roxie Hart is a thrilling adventure through adultery, murder, fear, lust, power and fame. Her voice fits the part perfectly and gives it a convincing confidence. Kevin Carolan's work as Amos Hart is also something to marvel at. His subtle comedy and relaxed confusion makes him the innocent sap that he was made to be and even better than ideal. Terra C. MacLeod's role as Velma could not have been physically cast better. Vocally she leaves something to be somewhat desired, though. Her blend with the magnificent Mary Testa as "Mamma" wasn't all there. While Testa absolutely rocks the spotlight, MacLeod does a good job, but nothing extraordinary.

If you're looking for a show that brings every aspect of theater to the forefront of the stage, this is the show to see. Orchestration, acting, song and dance with a perfectly simple set and fantastic lighting compile upon each other to make an altogether great show and all that jazz!

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