All That Jazz: ‘Chicago’ with John O’Hurley at TPAC This Week

ChicagoJohnO'HurleyJohn O’Hurley (“Seinfeld“) and colleagues are giving Nashville that ole razzle-dazzle this week as the four-decade hit musical Chicago plays Tennessee Performing Arts Center’s Jackson Hall.

Tickets (starting at just $25) are available at TPAC.org, by phone at (615) 782-4040 and at the TPAC Box Office (505 Deaderick St.) in downtown Nashville. For group tickets please call (615) 782-4060. The show opens Tuesday and runs through Sunday (7:30 p.m. Tuesday-Thursday; 8 p.m. Friday; 2 and 8 p.m. Saturday; and 1 and 6:30 p.m. Sunday).

Set amid the 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.

“We wanted to bring Chicago back to Nashville not only because it hasn’t been here in almost 10 years, but because it is a true classic. This time we will have the wonderfully talented John O’Hurley on our stage as Billy Flynn,” says Kathleen O’Brien, TPAC president and chief executive officer. “This is a show that is flashy, sassy, funny, and poignant with a very sophisticated story. It truly is a sure thing.”

O’Hurley is best known as J. Peterman on “Seinfeld,” the number one syndicated television show in the world (seen in 85 countries), for which he won a Screen Actors Guild Award. He was also seen on the top-rated ABC hit “Dancing With the Stars,” ABC’s dramatic “Dance-Off!” and as the host of “Family Feud.” He is one of the most recognized voices on TV, appearing in dozens of animated productions including King Neptune on “Sponge Bob Squarepants” and Blake the White Tiger on NBC’s “Father of the Pride.” O’Hurley’s first CD, Peace of Our Minds, a collaboration of his piano compositions with world-renowned cellist Marston Smith, debuted at  number 13 on Billboard. His CDs are available at CDBaby.com. His musical theater credits include starring roles in the national tours of Pirates of Penzance, Gentlemen Prefer Blondes and Brigadoon. He is a New York Times best-selling author with three titles, including “The Perfect Dog,” which is becoming a stage musical. In 2011, he was recipient of the Ellis Island Medal of Honor for his work in the arts and philanthropy.

ChicagoEnsembleThe tour also features Bianca Marroquin as Roxie Hart, Terra C. MacLeod as Velma Kelly, Jacob Keith Watson as Amos Hart, C. Newcomer as Mary Sunshine and Roz Ryan as Matron “Mama” Morton. The national tour is directed by David Hyslop and choreographed by David Bushman.  Tony Award winner Walter Bobbie is the director of the original New York production and Tony Award winner 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 with supervising music direction by Rob Fisher.

Produced by Barry and Fran Weissler, 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. It is the longest-running American musical in the history of the Great White Way, and will surpass Cats as the second-longest running Broadway show overall on Nov. 23 (The Phantom of the Opera has the longest run).

CHICAGO is the second production featured in the 2014-15 HCA/TriStar Health Broadway at TPAC season. Performance schedule, prices, and cast are subject to change without notice. The season is supported by The HCA Foundation on behalf of HCA and the TriStar Family of Hospitals. Institutional sponsors for TPAC include Nissan North America, and Coca-Cola. TPAC is funded in part by support from the Tennessee Arts Commission and the Metropolitan Nashville Arts Commission. TPAC reminds ticket buyers that the only official place to buy tickets online is TPAC.org.

For more information on the show, visit ChicagoTheMusical.com.

*Photos by Paul Kolnik courtesy Chicago the Musical and TPAC.

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