Sunday, June 12, 2016

"Chicago" Enlivens Benedum Theater Stage

John O’Hurley and the Cast of Chicago Credit: Jeremy Daniel


Set inside the sensationalized female murderess craze that swept 1920s Chicago, CHICAGO draws its audience into a world of crime and glitz against the vivid backdrop of the jazz age. A first time production for Pittsburgh CLO, CHICAGO is sure to be “all that jazz” and more!

A true New York City institution, CHICAGO has everything that makes Broadway great: a universal tale of fame, fortune and “all that jazz,” one show-stopping song after another and the most astonishing dancing you’ve ever seen. No wonder CHICAGO has been honored with six Tony Awards®, two Olivier Awards®, a Grammy® and thousands of standing ovations.
It’s also no surprise that CHICAGO  has wowed audiences all around the world, from Mexico City to Moscow, from Sao Paulo to South Africa. Whether you’re looking for your first Broadway musical, whether you’ve seen the Academy Award®-winning film and want to experience the show live on stage or whether you’ve seen it before and want to recapture the magic, CHICAGO always delivers.

ABOUT THE CAST

Dylis Croman in Broadway’s “Chicago” Credit: Jeremy Daniel
Dylis Croman (Roxie Hart) has been a part of the CHICAGO family for over seven years. She most recently performed the role of Roxie Hart in New York City on Broadway. Other Broadway and national tour credits include New York Stage & Film’s new production of In Your Arms; A Chorus Line (standby Cassie/Sheila); Movin’ Out (Brenda); Sweet Charity (Rosie, u/s Charity); Oklahoma!; Thou Shalt Not (u/s Therese Raquin); and Fosse (trumpet solo, filmed for PBS Great Performances). On television, she appeared as Andrew Daniels on Guiding Light, Smash on NBC, as well as many national commercials.

Terra MacLeod (Velma Kelly) originated the role in the World French Premiere of CHICAGO in both Montreal and Paris (Moliere award nomination). She was most recently seen in the National Tour of CHICAGO. Other credits include: Broadway & West End. Chicago (Velma Kelly), Spamalot (Lady of the Lake), Blood Brothers (Mrs. J.) and The Producers (Ulla) (Vancouver Arts Club); Kiss of the Spider Woman (Spider Woman) (L.A. Havok Theatre); Cats (Bombalurina) and The Pajama Game (Gladys) (MTWLA); West Side Story (Anita) (New Orleans Opera and Vancouver Arts Club) (Jessie Award, Best Supp. Actress); Guys and Dolls (Adelaide)  (San Diego MT); Damn Yankees (Lola); A Chorus Line (Cassie). Film/TV: The Lizzie Maguire Movie, The Reagans, The Dead Zone, Jeremiah, Cold Squad, Life or Something Like It.

John O’Hurley (Billy Flynn) is best known as J. Peterman on Seinfeld, the #1 syndicated television show in the world (seen in 85 countries), for which he won a Screen Actor’s Guild Award. He was also seen on the top-rated ABC hit Dancing With the Stars, ABC’s dramatic Dance-Off! and as the host of Family Feud. He is one of the most recognized voices on TV, appearing in dozens of animated productions including King Neptune on Sponge Bob Squarepants and Blake the White Tiger on NBC’s Father of the Pride. O’Hurley’s first CD, Peace of Our Minds, a collaboration of his piano compositions with world-renowned cellist Marston Smith, debuted at #13 on Billboard. His musical theater credits include starring roles in the national tours of Pirates of Penzance, Gentlemen Prefer Blondes and Brigadoon. He is a New York Times best-selling author with three titles, including The Perfect Dog, which is becoming a stage musical. In 2011, he was recipient of the Ellis Island Medal of Honor for his work in Arts and Philanthropy.

D. Ratell (Mary Sunshine) is thrilled to return to Chicago. D. is a graduate of Kent State University where he obtained his BFA in Musical Theatre. He is no stranger to Chicago, as he also had the privilege to play Mary Sunshine in Porthouse Theatre’s 2011 production of Chicago. Other credits include Oliver!, Starmites, My Fair Lady (Porthouse Theatre), Legally Blonde, Plain and Fancy and [Title of Show] (Kent State University). 

Roz Ryan (Mama Morton) holds a unique Broadway record, having played more performances of CHICAGO than any other leading actress in the show’s historic 18-year run. Broadway: seven productions, including CHICAGO, Dreamgirls, One Mo’ Time and Ain’t Misbehavin, plus various national tours. Television series: KC Undercover, Amen, Good News, The Rickey Smiley Show and more. Cartoon voiceovers: Adventure Time, Hercules, Looney Tunes, etc. TV commercials: Charles Barkley’s Mom for Capitol One and more!

Jacob Watson (Amos Hart) is making his Pittsburgh CLO debut with CHICAGO. Favorite credits include the Tony-nominated revival of Violet with the Roundabout Theatre Company, the National/International tour of CHICAGO, the acclaimed Encores! revival of 1776, and the world premiere of Amélie at Berkeley Rep. Other regional credits include Bye Bye Birdie, Seussical, Six Characters in Search of an Author, As You Like It, Twelfth Night, Othello, The Doctor in Spite of Himself. He is also a past winner of the prestigious Lotte Lenya Competition and the NATS National Music Theatre Competition.

ABOUT THE CREATIVE TEAM

Walter Bobbie (Director) directed the Tony Award®-nominated Venus in Fur on Broadway; Terrence McNally’s Golden Age at Manhattan Theatre Club, and David Ives’ School for Lies at Classic Stage. His international hit CHICAGO won him a Tony Award®, Drama Desk and Outer Critics Circle awards and has become the longest-running revival in Broadway history. Other Broadway credits include High Fidelity, Sweet Charity, Twentieth Century and Footloose. Mr. Bobbie directs regularly for New York’s most prestigious theatre companies, served as artistic director of City Center’s Encores! and is on the Executive Board of the Society of Stage Directors and Choreographers.

Rob Bowman (Music Director/Conductor) is happy to be continuing his involvement in CHICAGO having served as Music Director/Conductor for the Broadway production for five years as well as the first national touring company. He was Music Supervisor for companies in Australia, Holland, China, Stuttgart, Korea and Berlin. On Broadway, he has conducted numerous shows including A Little Night Music with Bernadette Peters, All About Me with Dame Edna and Michael Feinstein and the Tony Award-winning Elaine Stritch At Liberty. He spent two years as Music Director/Conductor for Kiss Of The Spider Woman with Chita Rivera. He began a partnership with Elaine Stritch as her Music Director for nearly fifteen years until her death in 2014. He is featured in the critically acclaimed Elaine Stritch: Shoot Me and the HBO/Pennebaker Emmy Award-winning documentary Elaine Stritch at Liberty. As a composer, he has written and arranged a number of scores including Hot Mikado which continues to be performed throughout the world.

Ann Reinking (Choreographer) 1997 Tony Award®, Best Choreography for CHICAGO, as well as Drama Desk, Outer Critics Circle, Astaire and NY Drama Critics awards. Other credits include: director, co-choreographer for Fosse (1998 Tony Award® for Best Musical); Tony Award® nomination for Best Director in a Musical, Fosse, Nominations for Tony Awards® in 4 different categories: Best Actress, Best Supporting Actress, Best Choreographer, Best Director (won the Tony Award® for Best Choreography), as well as Tony Award® nominations for her leading performances in Dancin’ and Goodtime Charlie; won the Lawrence Olivier Award® for Fosse; recipient of Theatre World, Clarence Derwent and Outer Critics Circle awards for her work as Maggie in Over Here!

HISTORY OF THE SHOW
Based on actual events of the 1920s, CHICAGO follows the seductive murderesses of the Cook County Jail, Roxie Hart’s swift rise to vaudeville fame and her attempts to evade justice.
The original musical production opened in 1975 with music and lyrics by John Kander and Fred Ebb, choreography by Bob Fosse and book by Ebb and Fosse.  

CHICAGO ran for two years before returning to the Great White Way in 1996. Today, the revival holds the record for the longest-running American musical in Broadway history, and is still enthralling audiences in New York and beyond. It earned six Tony Awards® in addition to a Grammy® for Best Musical Show Album. Across the pond, the revival in London’s West End won the Olivier Award® for Outstanding Musical Production. The compelling characters and toe-tapping tunes of CHICAGO have stunned audiences all over the world, from Moscow to Brazil and everywhere in between. 

Succeeding the Broadway and West End revivals, a movie adaptation starring Catherine Zeta-Jones, Reneé Zellweger and Queen Latifah hit the big screens in 2002.  The film was directed by Pittsburgh CLO alumnus Rob Marshall, and garnered an outstanding six Academy Awards®, including Best Picture.

ABOUT THE ORIGINAL CREATIVE TEAM
Fred Ebb & Bob Fosse (Book) created the book for CHICAGO in addition to Ebb’s lyrical contributions and Fosse’s choreography and direction. Ebb and Fosse would both go on to make major contributions to American musical theater. Ebb created musical sensations such as Cabaret and New York, New York while Fosse established an iconic style seen throughout the Tony Award®-winning productions of Damn Yankees, Redhead and Pippin.

John Kander and Fred Ebb (Lyrics & Music) are the dynamic duo behind CHICAGO. Together the team wrote numerous musicals, many of which have been regarded as Broadway contemporary classics. The first project the team created was the Grammy®-nominated song “My Coloring Book,” recorded by Barbara Streisand. Kander and Ebb earned worldwide fame with the 1966 production of Cabaret which won the Tony Award® for Best Musical among seven other awards. A film adaptation of Cabaret in 1972 won multiple Academy Awards® and a Broadway revival in 1998 earned another Tony Award®.

In 1975 the duo created the smash hit CHICAGO, which won six Tony Awards® for the 1996 Broadway revival. In 1981, Kander and Ebb’s Woman of the Year won a Tony Award for Best Score and received yet another Tony Award® for The Kiss of the Spider Woman in 1993. The pair’s final completed work, Steel Pier, received 11Tony Award® nominations.  Kander and Ebb also contributed to the Tony Award®-winning musical Curtains, among other credits, including: Flora the Red Menace, The Happy Time, Zorba, 70 Girls 70, The Act, The Rink, Lucky Lady, New York,  New York and Stepping Out.

Bob Fosse (Director & Choreographer) is a nine-time Tony Award® winner and notable choreographic genius behind many of Broadway’s most memorable hits. In 1954 Fosse choreographed The Pajama Game for which he received his first Tony Award®. Fosse lent his talents to Damn Yankees in 1955, earning another Tony Award®.  Following Damn Yankees he directed and choreographed Redhead, which won Tony Awards® for Best Musical and Best Choreography.
 Fosse’s contribution to the 1972 film Cabaret earned eight Academy Awards®, including Best Director. Subsequently, Fosse earned a Tony Award® for Best Direction and Choreography for his work on Pippin. He won two Emmy Awards® for NBC variety show Liza with a Z. Fosse’s last musical, Big Deal, received five Tony Award® nominations and won for Best Choreography.

Performance Schedule for CHICAGO
Friday, 17 to Sunday,  June 26

TICKETS

Tickets are available online at pittsburghCLO.org, by calling 412-456-6666 or at the Box Office at Theater Square. Tickets start at $35. Groups of 10 or more enjoy exclusive discounts and specialty packages. Call our Group Sales Hotline at 412-325-1582 for more information. Visit pittsburghCLO.org for further information.

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