re: 1975: "Chicago – A Musical Vaudeville"
Posted by: BroadwayTonyJ 10:38 am EDT 08/25/21
In reply to: 1975: "Chicago – A Musical Vaudeville" - reed23 10:45 pm EDT 08/24/21

Great analysis and commentary! I enjoyed reading it. One question: I only know the original from its cast album and from musical numbers I've seen on TV. Caught the revival when the tour came to Chicago. To me the number which really evokes Ted Lewis is Amos Hart's "Mr. Cellophane" which is sort of reminiscent of his rendition of "Me and My Shadow", but I also get the Emil Jannings/Immanuel Rath connection -- very astute observation -- I never noticed it until you pointed it out.

The original '75 Chicago was a fairly elaborate production that ran 2-1/3 years, 24 previews, and 936 perfs. Although it closed in the red, its national tour enabled it to recoup. It was a hit, but a small one. The '96 Encores Chicago was indeed a stripped down concert version as are all Encores show. They are done on a tight budget with minimal rehearsal time as non-profit shows in order to keep expenses as low as possible. Since it was such a success at City Center, the Weisslers moved it to Broadway, keeping the concert format because it made economic sense. Its low weekly running cost has allowed it to become the longest running musical revival in Broadway history, thus providing Kander & Ebb with a well deserved financial success.

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