CHICAGO at Welk Resort Through June 2

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ChicagoWith music by Kander and Ebb and a book by Bob Fosse, the story is a satire on corruption in the administration of criminal justice and the concept of the “celebrity criminal”.

Daunting, daring, brassy and bold – you will love every minute of Chicago with songs including All That Jazz, I Can’t Do It Alone, Mr. Cellophane and Razzle Dazzle! Chicago holds the record for the longest-running musical revival on Broadway! Relive the magic of this Bob Fosse classic – Rated PG-13.

For tickets please Call 1-888-802-7469 or go to WelkResorts.com
When: 1 p.m. Wednesdays, Thursdays and Sundays; 8 p.m. Thursdays and Saturdays; through June 2
Where: Welk Resorts Theatre, 8860 Lawrence Welk Drive, Escondido
Tickets: $45 and up (buffet lunch or dinner is $18 extra)

Chicago Jazz 1U-T San Diego Review:
Welk’s ‘Chicago’ has ‘Razzle Dazzle’

Ray Limon’s production doesn’t soften the cynicism in the story

By Pam Kragen, March 24, 2013

When the musical “Chicago” debuted in 1975, audiences and critics were initially put off by its cynicism and unsympathetic characters. Over time, its rough edges have been softened by stage and film directors.

But at Welk Resort Theatre, where a new production of Kander and Ebb’s classic opened Saturday, director/choreographer Ray Limon has embraced the musical’s darkest roots. You may not like the selfish, fame-craving characters in this satirical tale of crime and celebrity in Prohibition-era Chicago, but you’ll love this high-energy production.

Limon’s production honors Bob Fosse’s original choreography and vaudeville staging concept in the well-danced show. And since each character is a vaudevillian, Limon allows them to step outside the story and have their moment to milk the audience for applause, whether it’s RC Sands’ quivering lips and chin as crime reporter Mary Sunshine or an epically long final note sung by Randall Dodge as greedy defense attorney Billy Flynn.

Co-starring as the “merry murderesses” Velma Kelly and Roxie Hart — who both plan to cash in on their notoriety as stage stars after Flynn springs them from jail — are Welk vet Natalie Nucci and newcomer Adrienne Storrs.

It’s a nice pairing. Nucci’s a seasoned pro with fire in her belly, sardonic humor and desperation in her eyes. Storrs is greener, hungrier, vivacious and cruel. Their characters aren’t nice ladies, but, boy, can these ladies dance.

There’s great support work here from Dodge (who wears a pencil-thin mustache and self-adoring sneer with aplomb); the scene-stealing Sands; the touchingly tender Shaun Thomas as Roxie’s cuckolded husband, Amos, and the soulful Valerie Geason as the prison Matron. There’s also a solid dance company and onstage band led by music director/keyboardist Justin Gray.

Virtually every number’s a standout, though it’s hard to top the ensembles “We Both Reached for the Gun” and “Cell Block Tango,” or the perfectly delivered duet “Class.”

Welk has the unfortunate timing of opening its “Chicago” on the heels of San Diego Musical Theatre’s much bigger and more spectacular staging of the musical. But this “Chicago” has heart. Not its characters, mind you — they’re a gleefully unrepentant lot — but in its cast.

(Photo: Natalie Nucci as Velma Kelly leads a dance scene in Welk Resort Theatre’s “Chicago.” CREDIT: Sharyn Sakimoto)

 

 

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