“Chicago” at the Village Theatre

If it’s glorious spectacle you like, if razzle dazzle turns you on, if glitter and glitz ring your chimes, it’s all there in Village Theatre’s “Chicago.” Director Steve Tomkins and his cast and crew have done everything just about right.

“Chicago” first opened on Broadway in 1975 with book by Fred Ebb and Bob Fosse. Its 1996 revival was the longest running in Broadway history, and the 2002 film was a smash hit.¬†It’s an extravaganza loosely based on the true story of two female murderers who got off scot free after offing the men who were doing them wrong in corrupt Jazz Age Chicago.

In this production, standout singers, dancers and actors, Taryn Darr and Desire√© Davar play Roxie and Velma, two of the sexiest murderers you’ll ever meet, sexy and conniving. Kudos go to the entire cast, but special mention must be made of the incredibly versatile Timothy McCuen Piggee and also Richard Gray. Piggee portrays the suave but scummy lawyer who, given enough money, can get anyone off. He struts; he preens; he takes command of those around him and the entire audience too. Gray, Roxie’s well-meaning, bumbling husband, brings just the right pathos and humor to his role.

The production team has given this theatrical delight all the bells and whistles it deserves. Tom Sturge’s set and lighting work beautifully. You know that things are going to get hot when you enter the theatre and are greeted by the overpowering red light “Chicago” sign.

And from the orchestra’s opening bars you sense that Music Director Tim Symons knows just what to do with a snappy score. Kristin Holland’s choreography matches any flashy routines you’ll see on Broadway. Karen Ann Ledger’s eye-popping costumes enhance every curve, reinforce every personality. I do, however, hate it when mikes are so very obvious, and I wish there were a way to avoid large, noticeable runs in so many of the stockings.

But what are a few mike cords and runs when a production has as much going for it as this one does?

Through June 29 at Village Theatre, 303 Front Street N., Issaquah, (425 392-2202) and July 5th through July 28th at the Everett Performing Arts Center, 2710 Wetmore Avenue, Everett (425-257-8600). Online at www.villagetheatre.org.

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