Review: 'Chicago' at the Wilton Playshop
- OnStage Connecticut Critic
Dear Wilton Playshop,
After viewing your production of "Chicago", you have my permission(not that you need it) to do as many musicals as you want.
Last year I was blown away by their production of "She Loves Me" and they have only improved their efforts with "Chicago". With sleek design, strong vocal performance and the right amount of sexy and sass, this is one of the stronger musicals I've seen this season.
It starts with excellent direction and choreography. Ralph Pastore did a skillful job of staging a large scale within the confines of the intimate Wilton space without diminishing the spectacle. Music Director Tom Cuffari also did impressive job and choreographer Christine Titus hit all the right moves giving the piece the right amount of style this pieces deserves.
In short, the plot is as follows. In 1920’s Chicago, Roxie Hart ends up in prison after shooting her lover, and, along with nightclub performer turned double-murderess Velma Kelly and smooth-talking lawyer Billy Flynn, she pulls every trick in the book to get off death row and out into the limelight of the roaring 20’s.
The cast was truly marvelous as well. Claire Kenny and Nikki Scamuffo were sensational as Roxie and Velma. These roles call for not only strong vocals, but complex dance and comedic timing and both actresses nailed every moment.
Also stealing every scene they were in was Bob Filipowich as Billy Flynn and Lisa Caporizzo as Mama Morton. And Seth Barkan was a perfectly sympathetic Amos.
As great as these principal actors were, the ensemble for this production was truly spectacular. Each handled the challenging choreography perfectly and only enhanced each scene they were involved with. I've seen musicals live and die with the performances of their ensemble and this one soared.
This show has since closed but it will certainly be on my mind for a while. After a track record like this, I'm looking forward to seeing what the Wilton Playshop has in store for us next.