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By J. Wynn Rousuck and J. Wynn Rousuck,SUN THEATER CRITIC | April 18, 1997
"In this town, murder is a form of entertainment," "Mama" Morton, the prison matron, proclaims near the beginning of "Chicago."In 1975, when this darkly satirical musical opened, audiences didn't want to believe Mama. But times change. Two decades later, the Broadway revival is the biggest hit of the season. And the slick touring production at Washington's National Theatre makes it easy to see why.For starters, something is going on in this show that is so old-fashioned, it's almost revolutionary.
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By Mary Johnson, Special to The Baltimore Sun | November 17, 2011
Although no longer revolutionary, Stephen Schwartz's dark 1972 episodic musical "Pippin" continues to surprise and intrigue. In a production by 2nd Star in Bowie, the spirit of the show's director/choreographer Bob Fosse again seduces us, the dancers' sharp moves synchronized to Schwartz's catchy folk-pop-rock score. "Pippin" is the story of a naïve young prince's search for meaning and fulfillment in life. Pippin's racy grandmother encourages him to savor a series of fleshly encounters, and the amoral Leading Player guides him to battlefield competitions, sensual pleasures and, ultimately, patricide — as Pippin briefly becomes king by killing his father, Charlemagne.
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By J. Wynn Rousuck and J. Wynn Rousuck,SUN THEATER CRITIC | April 13, 1997
NEW YORK -- As a dancer, Ann Reinking broke out of "the Fosse clump." As a choreographer, she's keeping the clump together.The clump was a trademark of the late Bob Fosse's choreography. It consisted of dancers oozing across the stage as one, amoeba-like entity.Reinking, a personal as well as professional protege of Fosse's, was one of his favored soloists. Before being sidelined with a back injury last month, she demonstrated what set her apart from the clump by starring in the hit Broadway revival of "Chicago," a musical Fosse directed, choreographed and co-wrote in 1975.
NEWS
By Mary Johnson, Special to The Baltimore Sun | June 5, 2011
Annapolis Summer Garden's season opener, "Chicago," gets just about everything so right that it would please the ghost of choreographer Bob Fosse, to whose memory debuting director and choreographer Taavon Gamble dedicates this production. The production's success is largely attributable to Gamble's smart sense of style, evident in the stark black background set and simple black costumes that enhance his dynamic choreography. Also evident in every scene is the meticulous care Gamble gives all aspects of this Kander and Ebb musical that reveals the corruption of 1920s Chicago's criminal justice system through its heroines, who are based on actual women reported on in Chicago newspapers.
FEATURES
By J. Wynn Rousuck and J. Wynn Rousuck,SUN THEATER CRITIC | October 30, 2003
Hello, suckers. Welcome back," the character of Velma Kelly says to the audience after intermission in the musical Chicago. So what does that make us? Not suckers. Granted, this is the third time Baltimore has welcomed a touring production of the stylish and steamy Tony Award-winning Broadway revival. But the top-notch company playing the Lyric Opera House through Sunday is very welcome indeed. For theatergoers who have seen the recent Academy Award-winning movie, taking the show in this time around will be a different experience.
FEATURES
By Stephen Hunter and Stephen Hunter,Sun Film Critic | June 14, 1994
The best entertainment bargain in Baltimore, at least through Thursday, is the 5:15 show at the Senator, where a relatively few bucks will get you two hours of the great 1972 film "Cabaret" on the big screen, in that lustrous, satiny Technicolor.Wherefore "Cabaret"? Is it because the owner of the theater saw the subtle subtextual connection between "Cabaret" and "Schindler's List," which is playing at 1 p.m. and 8 p.m., and thought that here was an extremely rich opportunity to explore a single phenomenon from the vantage point of two great films made 21 years apart in different modes?
FEATURES
By J. Wynn Rousuck and J. Wynn Rousuck,SUN THEATER CRITIC | February 5, 1998
Before there was "Sally Jessy Raphael" or "Jerry Springer" or "Jenny Jones," there was the musical "Chicago."The first, the best and possibly the only tabloid musical, this deliciously slick and cynical 1975 show relates the tale of a pair of murderesses who ride their notoriety to become show- business celebrities.Two decades ago, the musical's creators -- composer John Kander, lyricist Fred Ebb and director/choreographer Bob Fosse -- may have intended their dark look at sex, scandal, murder and media manipulation in the 1920s to be a satire; today it's the bona fide stuff of headlines.
NEWS
By Mary Johnson, Special to The Baltimore Sun | May 19, 2011
The Annapolis Summer Garden Theatre opens its 45th season of outdoor shows on May 26 with a production of the John Kander and Fred Ebb musical "Chicago. " Bob Fosse's sassy choreography, which helped define the 1975 show, was much in evidence at a recent rehearsal in the West Annapolis Elementary School auditorium, where the dancing was so seductive that the utilitarian setting hardly mattered. In rehearsals, you can discover a director's goals and discern how near he is to achieving them.
FEATURES
By J. Wynn Rousuck and J. Wynn Rousuck,SUN THEATER CRITIC | February 1, 1998
On stage, Karen Ziemba is usually the good girl: The marathon-dancing heroine in last season's "Steel Pier," the plucky postmistress in "Crazy for You," the long-married wife in "I Do! I Do!" even Dennis the Menace's mom.But Ziemba isn't playing the good girl anymore.In the Tony Award-winning revival of "Chicago" that opens at the Mechanic Theatre Tuesday, Ziemba portrays Roxie Hart, murderess.Roxie fatally shoots her lover in her opening scene in this 1920s-style musical. Then she concentrates on becoming a media celebrity and wriggling out of a conviction.
NEWS
By Mary Johnson, Special to The Baltimore Sun | November 17, 2011
Although no longer revolutionary, Stephen Schwartz's dark 1972 episodic musical "Pippin" continues to surprise and intrigue. In a production by 2nd Star in Bowie, the spirit of the show's director/choreographer Bob Fosse again seduces us, the dancers' sharp moves synchronized to Schwartz's catchy folk-pop-rock score. "Pippin" is the story of a naïve young prince's search for meaning and fulfillment in life. Pippin's racy grandmother encourages him to savor a series of fleshly encounters, and the amoral Leading Player guides him to battlefield competitions, sensual pleasures and, ultimately, patricide — as Pippin briefly becomes king by killing his father, Charlemagne.
NEWS
By Mary Johnson, Special to The Baltimore Sun | May 19, 2011
The Annapolis Summer Garden Theatre opens its 45th season of outdoor shows on May 26 with a production of the John Kander and Fred Ebb musical "Chicago. " Bob Fosse's sassy choreography, which helped define the 1975 show, was much in evidence at a recent rehearsal in the West Annapolis Elementary School auditorium, where the dancing was so seductive that the utilitarian setting hardly mattered. In rehearsals, you can discover a director's goals and discern how near he is to achieving them.
FEATURES
By J. Wynn Rousuck and J. Wynn Rousuck,SUN THEATER CRITIC | October 30, 2003
Hello, suckers. Welcome back," the character of Velma Kelly says to the audience after intermission in the musical Chicago. So what does that make us? Not suckers. Granted, this is the third time Baltimore has welcomed a touring production of the stylish and steamy Tony Award-winning Broadway revival. But the top-notch company playing the Lyric Opera House through Sunday is very welcome indeed. For theatergoers who have seen the recent Academy Award-winning movie, taking the show in this time around will be a different experience.
ENTERTAINMENT
By J. Wynn Rousuck and J. Wynn Rousuck,SUN THEATER CRITIC | September 17, 2000
Theater: As this revue makes clear, the choreographer's works takes many turns. The tipped bowler hat, the jutting hip, the turned-in feet, the gloved hands with outstretched fingers. These were part of the vocabulary of Bob Fosse's distinctive choreography. That vocabulary was just one of the contributions to the American musical theater made by the late director/choreographer. His work is celebrated in the Tony Award-winning revue, "Fosse," which opens at the Mechanic Theatre Tuesday.
FEATURES
By J. Wynn Rousuck and J. Wynn Rousuck,SUN THEATER CRITIC | February 5, 1998
Before there was "Sally Jessy Raphael" or "Jerry Springer" or "Jenny Jones," there was the musical "Chicago."The first, the best and possibly the only tabloid musical, this deliciously slick and cynical 1975 show relates the tale of a pair of murderesses who ride their notoriety to become show- business celebrities.Two decades ago, the musical's creators -- composer John Kander, lyricist Fred Ebb and director/choreographer Bob Fosse -- may have intended their dark look at sex, scandal, murder and media manipulation in the 1920s to be a satire; today it's the bona fide stuff of headlines.
FEATURES
By J. Wynn Rousuck and J. Wynn Rousuck,SUN THEATER CRITIC | February 1, 1998
On stage, Karen Ziemba is usually the good girl: The marathon-dancing heroine in last season's "Steel Pier," the plucky postmistress in "Crazy for You," the long-married wife in "I Do! I Do!" even Dennis the Menace's mom.But Ziemba isn't playing the good girl anymore.In the Tony Award-winning revival of "Chicago" that opens at the Mechanic Theatre Tuesday, Ziemba portrays Roxie Hart, murderess.Roxie fatally shoots her lover in her opening scene in this 1920s-style musical. Then she concentrates on becoming a media celebrity and wriggling out of a conviction.
FEATURES
By J. Wynn Rousuck and J. Wynn Rousuck,SUN THEATER CRITIC | April 18, 1997
"In this town, murder is a form of entertainment," "Mama" Morton, the prison matron, proclaims near the beginning of "Chicago."In 1975, when this darkly satirical musical opened, audiences didn't want to believe Mama. But times change. Two decades later, the Broadway revival is the biggest hit of the season. And the slick touring production at Washington's National Theatre makes it easy to see why.For starters, something is going on in this show that is so old-fashioned, it's almost revolutionary.
NEWS
By Mary Johnson, Special to The Baltimore Sun | June 5, 2011
Annapolis Summer Garden's season opener, "Chicago," gets just about everything so right that it would please the ghost of choreographer Bob Fosse, to whose memory debuting director and choreographer Taavon Gamble dedicates this production. The production's success is largely attributable to Gamble's smart sense of style, evident in the stark black background set and simple black costumes that enhance his dynamic choreography. Also evident in every scene is the meticulous care Gamble gives all aspects of this Kander and Ebb musical that reveals the corruption of 1920s Chicago's criminal justice system through its heroines, who are based on actual women reported on in Chicago newspapers.
ENTERTAINMENT
By J. Wynn Rousuck and J. Wynn Rousuck,SUN THEATER CRITIC | September 17, 2000
Theater: As this revue makes clear, the choreographer's works takes many turns. The tipped bowler hat, the jutting hip, the turned-in feet, the gloved hands with outstretched fingers. These were part of the vocabulary of Bob Fosse's distinctive choreography. That vocabulary was just one of the contributions to the American musical theater made by the late director/choreographer. His work is celebrated in the Tony Award-winning revue, "Fosse," which opens at the Mechanic Theatre Tuesday.
NEWS
By J. Wynn Rousuck and J. Wynn Rousuck,SUN THEATER CRITIC | April 13, 1997
NEW YORK -- As a dancer, Ann Reinking broke out of "the Fosse clump." As a choreographer, she's keeping the clump together.The clump was a trademark of the late Bob Fosse's choreography. It consisted of dancers oozing across the stage as one, amoeba-like entity.Reinking, a personal as well as professional protege of Fosse's, was one of his favored soloists. Before being sidelined with a back injury last month, she demonstrated what set her apart from the clump by starring in the hit Broadway revival of "Chicago," a musical Fosse directed, choreographed and co-wrote in 1975.
FEATURES
By Stephen Hunter and Stephen Hunter,Sun Film Critic | June 14, 1994
The best entertainment bargain in Baltimore, at least through Thursday, is the 5:15 show at the Senator, where a relatively few bucks will get you two hours of the great 1972 film "Cabaret" on the big screen, in that lustrous, satiny Technicolor.Wherefore "Cabaret"? Is it because the owner of the theater saw the subtle subtextual connection between "Cabaret" and "Schindler's List," which is playing at 1 p.m. and 8 p.m., and thought that here was an extremely rich opportunity to explore a single phenomenon from the vantage point of two great films made 21 years apart in different modes?
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