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"All That Jazz" Dances Across the San Diego Stage with Chicago Tour

by Cassiopeia Guthrie, February 17, 2024

Roxie finds herself on the front page of the Chicago papers.
Katie Frieden as Roxie Hart in 'Chicago.' Photo credit: Jeremy Daniel.

Three cheers... the Chicago tour is here, Fosse'ing its way through a one week celebration of dance on the Civic Theatre stage as it stops in San Diego from Feb. 13-18.

The classic musical, with lyrics by Fred Ebb, music by John Kander, and book by Fred Ebb and Bob Fosse, sees program notes list it as a re-creation of the original production, with recreated choreography by Gregory Butler and direction by David Hyslop. It tells the story of 1920s Chicago and a duo of viciously manipulative songstresses, Velma and Roxie, who just might get away with murder if their lawyer Billy Flynn has anything to do with it!

Featuring Katie Frieden as the sultry, manipulative Roxie Hart, Kailin Brown as moody and aggressive Velma Kelly, and Connor Sullivan as mercenary lawyer Billy Flynn, the musical is staged in a way that feels almost like a vaudeville show itself - the ensemble spends much of their time visibly peeking out of chairs just along the weeks, framing a large, vibrant, 10-piece big band that is absolutely sensational (led by the entertaining Cameron Blake Kinnear).

Throughout the production, the audience is also treated to stellar dancing and big onstage attitude courtesy of the talented ensemble. It's a celebration of razzle dazzle and sexy theatre noir. There's glitz, glamour, pop and squish, and the history of 27 years behind the production, billed as "Broadway's longest running musical."

the cast of chicago dances onstage, velma framed at the center, in all that jazz
The cast of 'Chicago.' Photo credit: Jeremy Daniel.

While some scenes are a bit slow in their delivery (I'm looking at you, "Roxie" and "Class") the show nevertheless has a several standout moments, which include "Cell Block Tango" and "We Both Reached for the Gun."

If, as it is for me, this production is one that spurs fond memories for you as well, time is of the essence to catch it before it shimmy-shakes out of town.

Chicago's only in San Diego, after all, til the 18.


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