- READER REVIEWS
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Note: Show times vary; check the website for details. This is New York Magazine's original 2003 review of the Broadway show.
It was a gamble to transfer the Encores! production of Chicago to the larger and costlier venue of Broadway. But since Chicago is about women who kill their men and the mercenary lawyer who gets them off, gambling seems like the merest peccadillo. Especially when, as here, it pays off. Back in 1975, this Fred Ebb-John Kander-Bob Fosse musical opened in the shadow of A Chorus Line, and, though easily as good, reaped the deficit of the reviewers’ having exhausted their supply of encomiums. Also, amorality, at least officially, was not yet in. In those days, a jury would have frowned on O.J.'s behavior. But the show did have it all: Gwen Verdon, who suggested the idea to Fosse; Chita Rivera; Jerry Orbach; and the rest. Yet, miraculously, here it is again, with all the trimmings. There is not much plot but lots of hokum in front of a steeply raked bandstand on which perch thirteen musicians expertly conducted by Rob Fisher. There are also a couple of ladders, some chairs, and a very sparingly used elevator. The rest is magic. Minimalism prevails. The dialogue crackles, the score delights, the dancing bedazzles.