CHICAGO, winner of six 1997 Tony Awards including Best Musical Review, kicks off the Ordway's 2012-13 Theater Season with a one-week run beginning tonight, August 7, 2012. CHICAGO, which opened to rave reviews on November 14th, 1996, now has the distinction of being the fourth longest-running production in Broadway history, and it shows no sign of ever slowing down.
Starring as Billy Flynn is John O'Hurley, the award-winning actor, best known as "J. Peterman" on "Seinfeld," which is now the No. 1 syndicated series in the world in 85 countries. He danced his way into the hearts of America as the ultimate champion of the highly rated ABC show "Dancing with the Stars," starred on Broadway in CHICAGO, as the male lead "Billy Flynn" and starred in a two-year stint as the head of the Round Table, King Arthur, in Eric Idle's hilarious musical comedy "Monty Python's Spamalot" in Las Vegas. On the small screen he can be seen weekly on the popular syndicated show "Family Feud."
As a follow-up to his Billboard chart-topping CD "Peace of Our Minds" (which was the first independently produced CD to ever reach #13 on the Billboard Music charts), O'Hurley recently released "Secrets from the Lake," a collaboration of his piano compositions with cellist Marston Smith.
Murder. Greed. Corruption. Violence. Exploitation. Adultery. Treachery. Set amidst the razzle-dazzle decadence of the 1920s, CHICAGO is the story of Roxie Hart, a housewife and nightclub dancer who maliciously murders her on-the-side lover after he threatens to walk out on her. Desperate to avoid conviction, she dupes the public, the media and her rival cellmate, Velma Kelly, by hiring Chicago's slickest criminal lawyer to transform her malicious crime into a barrage of sensational headlines, the likes of which might just as easily be ripped from today's tabloids.
With a legendary book by Fred Ebb and Bob Fosse, music by John Kander and lyrics by Fred Ebb, CHICAGO is the winner of six 1997 Tony Awards including Best Musical Revival and the Grammy Award for Best Musical Cast Recording.
The national tour is directed by Scott Faris and choreographed by Gary Chryst. Walter Bobbie is the director of the original New York Production and Ann Reinking was the original choreographer in the style of Bob Fosse. CHICAGO features set design by John Lee Beatty, costume design by William Ivey Long, lighting design by Ken Billington and sound design by Scott Lehrer. The production also features orchestrations by Ralph Burns, supervising music direction by Rob Fisher. A cast list is attached.
Produced by Barry and Fran Weissler, CHICAGO has become a worldwide phenomenon with productions in 24 countries and 11 languages since 1996.
An Ordway Extra will take place one hour before the show on Wednesday, August 8 in the Marzitelli Foyer. The Ordway will also host a talkback immediately after the show on August 8. The talkback will be a Q & A session about the show with members of the cast and creative team.
The Ordway is widely recognized as one of the nation's leading nonprofit performing arts centers and Saint Paul's most elegant and inviting performance space. The Ordway's Music Theater and McKnight stages attract diverse audiences with an array of productions showcasing the finest in American musical theater, world music, dance and vocal performance. Education and community engagement are integral to the Ordway's mission, with major initiatives including the annual Flint Hills International Children's Festival and Ordway Education programs that serve more than 50,000 students annually. The Ordway also serves as authorizer for the Saint Paul Conservatory for Performing Artists, a professionally guided academic and artistic environment that trains aspiring pre-professional performing artists. Together with The Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, Minnesota Opera and The Schubert Club, the Ordway is a member of the Arts Partnership and serves as the principal venue for their performances.