By Greg Bowman

Murder. Greed. Corruption. Violence. Exploitation. Adultery. Treachery.  All those things we hold near and dear to our hearts.

That’s the opening line from the Tony Award winning musical CHICAGO, which is bringing All That Jazz to Detroit’s Fisher Theater.

Listen to Greg Bowman’s interview with two stars of  the show here:

Chicago  now has the distinction of being the longest-running musical revival playing on Broadway,  the second longest-running musical production currently playing on Broadway, and the fifth longest-running production in Broadway history, and… shows no sign of ever slowing down!

CHICAGO is the story of Roxie Hart, a housewife and nightclub dancer who murders her on-the-side lover after he threatens to walk out on her. Desperate to avoid conviction, she dupes the public, the media and her rival cellmate, Velma Kelly, by hiring Chicago’s slickest criminal lawyer to transform her malicious crime into a barrage of sensational headlines, the likes of which might just as easily be ripped from today’s tabloids.

The show stars John O’Hurley (Billy Flynn), best known as “J.Peterman” on Seinfeld, and as the ultimate champion on ABC’s “Dancing With The Stars.”

O’Hurley tells WWJ that CHICAGO is one of the five best Broadway Musicals ever written.   ” I would put it with “Les Miserables” and ‘Phantom Of The Opera.’  It’s got great music, incredible choreography, and a ‘Book’ that is magical. O’Hurley adds that  he “enjoys the comedy and menace that is in the Billy Flynn character.”   And O’Hurley says it’s rewarding to be recognized for his role in Seinfeld, which he described as “being on the championship team on a championship season.”

CHICAGO has a local connection, with Detroit native Roz Ryan, who steals the show  in her outstanding performance as Matron Mama Thorton.  Ryan, a 30 year veteran of the stage and screen, says it’s a happy homecoming for her to be back on the Fisher Theatre Stage, where her Broadway career started in 1980.   Ryan tells WWJ ” I went to the Fisher back in 1980  to audition for “Ain’t Misbehavin.”  I didn’t get the part, but they sent me to New York.”  Ryan calls CHICAGO a timeless, and wonderful piece.” She says people love it because there are no gimmicks.  “Nothing takes off on stage, nothing blows up.  It solely relies on the music, the dancing and the talent.”  And that’s why audiences still love it so much.

Performance times for CHICAGO, appearing May 17 -22, 2011 at the Fisher Theatre, located at 3011 W. Grand Blvd., in Detroit, are:

– Tuesday through Saturday performances at 8:00 p.m.
– Sunday evening performance at 7:30 p.m.
– Saturday and Sunday matinees at 2:00 p.m.

Ticket prices for the Detroit engagement of CHICAGO range from $29-$75, includes parking and facility fees at the Fisher Theatre box office and all Ticketmaster locations.


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