Wednesday, November 12, 2008

All that jazz

I'd be lying if I said I came home from "Chicago" (the musical, not the city) last night and went to bed.

In fact, I put on a pair of tights and Mary Janes and tap-danced my way around my apartment -- much to the dismay of my dog and my neighbor below me.

But that's what the infectious music of "Chicago" does to you.

The show -- the first in the new national tour -- opened last night at the Belk Theater, bringing a wide range of ages to the Blumenthal Performing Arts Center. I saw one man in his 60s snorting with laughter at the show's bawdy humor while another young woman was singing along to all of the songs and excitedly telling her husband when her favorite parts were coming up.

An audible murmur went through the ladies in the audience when the female castmembers started "Cell Block Tango." "This is my favorite song!" they all whispered to their dates for the evening. (Perhaps the dates should have been worried: the song is about women who murdered their husbands/boyfriends with the catchy chorus "He had it comin'.")

I had previously seen only the movie version of "Chicago," which, while entertaining, seemed to drag in spots. I was happy to find that the stage version moves along at a nice pace, and I wasn't ready for it to end.

The show runs through Tuesday. For a full review by theater critic Lawrence Toppman, click here.