Tony Award-winning musical is a smash at the Omaha Community Playhouse
By Brandon Geary
Mayhem as entertainment has always been a bit baffling, but I’ll be darned if it doesn’t work like a charm every single time. “Chicago” the musical is riddled with bullets, greed, revenge, and general nastiness and is also one of the most popular Broadway musicals of all time.
Currently playing at the Omaha Community Playhouse, this show is ridiculously ambitious. To pull off the cabaret-style antics and the over-the-top musical numbers requires scale and spectacle a lesser community theatre wouldn’t dare attempt to produce. We should be unbelievably grateful we live in a city with a community playhouse so devoted to excellence. They did the play massive justice by pushing the boundaries of what someone might expect from a hometown cast and crew, which is truly nothing new for them.
The lighting was expertly crafted and executed, the music was masterfully performed and the acting was extraordinarily superb. With a musical of this sort, precision is paramount in order to manage all the split-second subtleties that serve to color a really marvelous world. Every minor joke and major plot shift hits its mark spot-on and nary a facial expression was frivolous or misplaced.
The two leading ladies, Melanie Walters and Kirstin Kluver, were boundless in exuberant pomp and glorious, mischievous energy. The closing number requires the two of them to see the show out by merely dancing through the finale. They exuded such a powerful ease and pleasure that the audience shot to their feet the moment the two women exited the stage. It was a fantastic display of true skill and vivacious fun.
This was characteristic of the entire show. There was not a moment of sluggish pace the whole evening. It was unmitigated entertainment.
Due to some on-stage violence and unsavory sexual material this musical may not be appropriate for young children but is incredibly delightful for adults.