Where the gin is cold but the piano’s hot

By Kelly Nielsen

The current production of Chicago at the Pantages Theatre includes a twist that was not part of the original.

The current production of Chicago at the Pantages Theatre includes a twist that was not part of the original.

Ladies and gentlemen, you are about to experience an evening of deception, dancing, singing, women who murder their lovers, and all that jazz. Welcome to 1920s Chicago.
I was thrilled to attend the opening night revival performance of Chicago for several reasons: I love musicals; I hadn’t seen Chicago (one of Broadway’s longest-running musicals); I’ve never been to the Pantages Theatre (one of the grandest theatres in Los Angeles); and I am always fascinated by a visit to Hollywood.
Given those reasons, how could I not enjoy the evening? My great expectations were fulfilled.
Oftentimes, theatre-going audiences are dazzled by spectacular moving sets and stage effects, but in this tour of Chicago, the outstanding performances of the lead characters and supporting cast carry the audience through the final curtain.
As I mentioned before, I’d never seen Chicago (on stage or screen), but I was familiar with the trademark songs. For me, there’s something awe-inspiring about watching a live performance of a renowned musical number. The opening presentation of the worldwide famous composition “All that Jazz” seemed flawless– the dancing was meticulous, the vocals were right on.
I could go on about the outstanding lead solo acts, but I won’t. I will however mention an extraordinary supporting performance that left me (and most likely 99 percent of the audience) flabbergasted. (I was told later that this unexpected twist was not part of the original Chicago.) It will be up to you to discover this enchanting stage pleasure.
Chicago will close at the Pantages Theatre on May 9 and can be seen Tuesday through Friday at 8pm; Saturday at 2pm and 8pm; and Sunday at 1pm and 6:30pm.

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