Panelists for the League of Cincinnati Theatres (LCT) have recognized The Carnegie Theatre’s production of Chicago with a 5 Star Rating.
The sexy, salacious jazz age sizzles in 1920s Chicago, where small-time showgirl Roxy Hart becomes the toast of the town after murdering her lover in cold blood. But fame is fleeting for the hot jazz slayer of the moment, and Roxy and smooth-stepping lawyer Billy Flynn manipulate everyone around them in a high-stakes tap dance into the headlines and away from the hangman’s noose.
Panelists were lavish in their praise of the “high energy, sizzling” Chicago: “The Carnegie, with this show, has elevated its game…their best production to date.” “A high-level audience pleaser…a fantastic production, and by far one of the best musicals I’ve seen in a while.” Panelists were unanimous in their acclaim for directors Ed Cohen and Dee Ann Bryll: “All of the aspects of this production came together because of the direction and vision of Dee Anne Bryll and Ed Cohen. They gave a Chicago that was original and enjoyable…This show succeeds because they were able to envision a production with a clear point of view and transmit that vision to the creative and performing team…Their staging was brilliant, clever, and effective.”
The entire ensemble was commended for their talented singing and dancing, and the three leads were each singled out: Leslie Goddard (Roxie Hart), Kimber Elayne Sprawl (Velma Kelly), and Dan Doerger (Billy Flynn). “Leslie Goddard completely won me over. Her performance was nuanced and she kept giving me new layers as the show progressed… She was nearly flawless; her movement choices, vocals, dancing, and acting were all spot-on.” Sprawl’s singing and dancing were “excellent…demonstrating the proper attitude” while Dan Doerger was “perfectly cast as Billy Flynn… his sleazy smile, bright teeth, acting and vocal range lit this show up!”
From a technical standpoint, panelists praised David Baum’s “creative, amusing” choreography: “he certainly brought a lot of energy and sexual tension to the stage… tight, unique, stylistically accurate, and exciting to watch.” Damon Stevens’ musical direction, as well as the orchestra, was described as “top notch. Intonation, style, and tempo were all spot on. Throughout the entire show I was impressed by the quality of the musicians and the balance they maintained with each other and the singers as well.” Dean Walz’s costumes were highlighted as “just the right amount of sex appeal while also creating individuality for each character…he highlighted the best body part of each actor and designed their costumes accordingly.” Finally, one panelist gave special kudos to producer and Carnegie artistic director Joshua Steele: “not only the best emcee in town, but the full house reflects his passion for theater.”
Chicago continues through August 25thh. Tickets can be purchased at http://www.thecarnegie.com.
League of Cincinnati Theatre panelists evaluate productions on a 5 star scale and recommend shows at either a 4 star or 5 star level. Nominations for LCT awards will be determined and announced at the end of the season and winners awarded at the annual LCT gala in the spring.