More than twenty-five years into its run, the revival of Chicago on Broadway has gotten some new razzle dazzle.
No shade to the show, which has lost some of it luster over the years. What long-running show doesn’t? Quite frankly, it’s a fate most shows would kill for. On that note, though, the show about getting away with murder and making yourself a star in the process, with lyrics by Fred Ebb, music by John Kander, and book by Ebb and original director Bob Fosse, revived in a production directed by Walter Bobbie, has gotten an injection of new blood in the form of Jinkx Monsoon, a double winner of RuPaul’s Drag Race (including the most recent season of all-star winners) and the first drag performer to play the pivotal featured role of Matron “Mama” Morton.
Monsoon, a great belter, makes every moment count – including a jolting new delivery of “Jesus Christ!” during “Nowadays.” She nails Morton’s sense of divine corruption. It isn’t just about what’s in it for her, she seems to truly get off on playing a part in a tainted system.
But the rest of the cast is on par, with fresh interpretations by Christine Cornish as the doomed Polish inmate Hunyak and Michael Scirrotto’s chorus role covering all members of the jury. And James T. Lane, a frequent Chicago alum, has now returned to the show as suavely immoral lawyer Billy Flynn in great voice.
Other cast members are great, including Lana Gordon as the current Velma Kelly, Evan Harrington as Amos Hart, Ryan Lowe as Mary Sunshine, and Emma Pittman, subbing in for Charlotte D’Amboise as Roxie, Velma’s rival for slammer celebrity.
In short, everything works. Come for Jinkx, but stick around for one solid revival that no longer shows any signs of being worse for wear.