Okay, let me start by saying that I loved the revival of Chicago… when it came out in 1996. While I never saw the original Broadway cast (not that I didn’t try; I’ll do another post on the inappropraiteness of a Saturday evening performances with only the understudies on deck) the touring production was really, really good. It was one of those ‘wow’ moments (not to be confused with a “WOW” moment, see my writing is nuanced).
Fast forward 14 years and the revival is still playing on Broadway and has carved a nice niche for itself as the show that anyone who wants to be in, gets to be in. Kind of like T-ball for actors, anyone on the team gets a turn at bat. And to clarify by anyone I mean any B level actor/celebrity who has an agent. The list of people who have done limited runs in Chicago include: Usher, George Hamilton, Huey Lewis (but not the News), Joey Lawrence, Tom Wopat and where you have Tom Wopat, John Schneider is sure to follow. Let’s not forget the women: Marilu Henner, Sandy Duncan, Melanie Griffith, Brooke Shields and of course that wonderful husband and wife team of Lisa (the lips) Rinna and Harry (Living off my LA Law residuals) Hamlin. A veritable “who’s huh?” of performers with a varying range of credibility. Now they’re adding to this nearly illustrious list 1980′s super model Christie Brinkley.
That’s right the Uptown Girl herself. No matter how you feel about the actors above they are actually actors or singers or dancers, sometimes even two out of the tree. Christie Brinkley is none of these and riding away on the back of a motor cycle with Billy Joel does not an acting career make! A few years ago a made a trip up to see the show when Bebe Neuwirth was going to be in it as Roxie and you could tell the show wasn’t weathering well. The performance lacked any energy, it was like they we’re just punching the clock at the theater factory and couldn’t wait for the end of day whistle. While still a perennial favorite with audiences and a cash cow for the producers it’ time for a break; it’s time for the fifth longest running show on Broadway to go back on the shelf so that it can be cleverly re-conceived in 5-7 years.