South Florida - "Chicago" is one of the longest running musicals on Broadway so when Keith Garsson decided to produce and direct a production right here in south Florida's fun in the sun arts destination Boca Raton, Florida, with some of the best talent from Broadway as well as local talent, everyone knew this "Chicago" would "Razzel Dazzle" them. A Theatre Chat top pick.
America's Top choreographer Ron Hutchins infused the Fosse style, but what Hutchins does best is creates his own magic in choreography. Musicals like "A Chorus Line" call for the choreography to honor the master work of Michael Bennett. In "Chicago" you must honor Fosse, but to copy every bit of the show would be a cop out. Hutchins not only creates new choreography for the smash hit musical "Chicago" he embraces the famed Fosse style as anyone can see by Krisha Marcano's better than Broadway performance.
Miss Marcano (Velma Kelly) was the star of "The Color Purple". Krisha had worked with choreographer Ron Hutchins in a production of "Smokey Joe's Cafe" and Ron fell in love with her amazing talent, which can be witnessed in the opening number when Marcano is in splits on a six foot four male dancer, then falls into his arms, twist to the floor in a split while singing "All That Jazz". As many times as I have seen "Chicago" on Broadway I can truly say never have I seen a Velma perform to this magnitude while singing gloriously.
Avi Hoffman (featured on Starz TV's Magic City) plays Billy Flynn with the always lovable Avi performance. Avi will return with "Still Jewish After All Of These Years" later this season. Patti Gardner gives a squeaky clean performance as Roxie Hart. Special thanks to Actors Equity Assoc for their approved contracts with union artists Krisha Marcano, Avi Hoffman and Patti Gardner.
The other stand out in his role is Ken Clement. Ken gives you Amos Hart and a heartfelt performance of "Mr. Cellophane". You can see right through him but you know this is acting, as Ken is one of Florida award winning best.
The choreography and dancers are also stand outs in this hit musical, with crisp clean "Chicago" choreography by Ron Hutchins. Hutchins (Cirque, University of Miami) blends the Fosse style while creating new exciting moves that compliment his local Florida dancers. Facebook post by their BRTG publicist Carol Cassie, already are congratulating them on recognition from Carbonell Awards for next season. The Carbonell recognition alone is reason to see this hit musical before it closes on March 17, 2013.
Florida favorite Salli Bondi gives a whipping performance as Matron Mama Morton. Sharyn Peoples sounds beautiful in her role as Mary Sunshine. The role is normally cast with a male singing high soprano and a surprise reveal of a man at the end. Locally that talent may not have auditioned, so the choice to not dress Sharyn like a man with her credit in the program as a woman was right. "Things don't always seem to be what they may be" could have a underline meaning...
Matthew Korinko ("Side Show") is wonderful as the Announcer. His vocal resonating sound is perfect for even a non singing role, although we know he can sing!
Again the highlight of this musical is Krisha Marcano ("Aida", "Fosse", "The Color Purple", who Florida should be lucky to witness before Krisha heads back to another hit musical on Broadway. Direction form Keith Garsson proves this "Chicago" cast can "Razzle Dazzle" and then some. "Chicago" is playing at The Willow Theatre loctated in Sugar Sands Park 300 Military Trail, Boca Raton, Florida.
The price of a Broadway half price ticket would cost close to $75.00 or $80 dollars so to witness "Chicago" at only $35. price ticket is insane. "Chicago" plays now through March 17, 2013 only. Get your tickets to one of Florida's hottest productions ever. Visit www.brtg.org or call 561-347-3948.
The "Chicago" cast includes Krisha Marcano ("Fosse", "The Color Purple") as Velma, Avi Hoffman ("Too Jewish") as Billy Flynn, Patti Gardner as Roxie, Ken Clement as Amos Hart, Salli Bondi as Matron Mama Morton, Sharyn Peoples ("Wild Party") as Mary Sunshine, Matt Korinko ("Side Show") as Announcer.
The Merry Murderesses: Lauren Bell, Marcela Corbellini Duarte, Del Marrero, Francisca, and Ann Marie Olson.
Jerel T. Brown ("Side Show") as Harry - Featured Player, George Macia (New World School of the Arts alum) as Doctor/Featured Player, Nate Lauar ("Cabaret") as Fred Casely, Conor Walton ("Side Show") as Aaron/Featured Player, Mike Westrich ("Avenue Q") as Sargent Fogarty/Featured Player, and Jacqueline Laggy (Go to Hell Kitty and is also Co- Producer of this production of "Chicago".
Chicago is directed by Keith Garsson, with choreography inspired by Fossee re invented by Ron Hutchins (Carbonell Award winner, Chicago's Jeff Award multi- nominee and Arizoni Award), Music Direction by multi-Carbonell Award winner Eric Alsford, Set Design by Sean McClelland, Lighting by Tom Shorrock, Sound David Hart.
Dance Captain Eliel Batista, Combat Consultant Paul Homza, Magic Consultant Richard Adler, Special Effects Jim Hammond, Master Builder Barry Ogrin, Technical Director Terry Lawrence, Props Chris Mitchell, Publicity Carol Kassie, Cover Photography Lloyd's Studio Photography, Rehearsal Photography Barry Garsson, Hair & Make Up Mario Betto, 2nd Rehearsal Pianist Caryl Fantel, Electrician Anthony Jamass, Backstage Managers Francesca Barioli/Terry Lawrence and Stage Manager Shonna Rash.
Musicians: Piano/Conductor Eric Alsford, Woodwinds Gary Gottfried, Bass Martha Spangler, Drums/Percussion Roy Fantel and Brass Charles Reskin.
Set Construction & Painting: Paul Hirschman, Frank Krutchik, David Leonard, Stan Schultz, Keith Stratton, Richard Winthrop and Barry Ogrin. Special thanks to FAU Drama Department.