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Highlighted by solid dancer from the ensemble and a spunky Roxie Hart, the Broadway in Indianapolis presentation of “Chicago” (Nov. 20-22) was a notch above previous visits from this Energizer Bunny of a musical.
The risk of going and going and going, for a show, can be a loss of focus, a sloppiness around the edges. That wasn’t the case with the well-cast dancers, who seemed to be giving their Fosse all on the Saturday matinee I attended. Particularly winning was Jesse Wildman, who played Mono, one of the Merry Murderesses, who carried with her a hint of Bob Fosse regular Leland Palmer. Also standing out in the supporting cast was Broadway vet Tom Riis Farrell as look-right-through-him wronged husband Amos Hart. The on-stage orchestra gamely kept the now-classic Kander and Ebb score feeling fresh.
The trio of leads had North America well-represented. Bianca Marroquin, who starred in Mexican productions of “Rent,” “Phantom of the Opera,” and “Chicago,” didn’t bring to mind such Roxie predecessors as Renee Zellweger or Ann Reinking. Instead, she carved her own “Sweet Charity”-with-an-edge persona, and it worked.
A fine, loggy dancer, Canadian Terra C. MacLeod, was too severe for my taste as Velma Kelly, unable to keep up her end of the fun. Tom Wopat, about as down home U. S, of A as you can get, picked up some of the slack with a jovial, well-sung Billy Flynn. (If you are still stuck with the image of Wopat from "Dukes of Hazard, give a listen to his "Still of the Night" CD. The guy’s got musical chops.)
For information on future Broadway in Indianapolis offerings, click here.