Saturday, July 25, 2015

Review: Chicago's on fire at Shreveport Little Theater; performances of musical continue through Sun, Aug 2

Linnea Fayard Allen, Jennifer Warren in SLT's Chicago

Linnea Fayard Allen looked like she'd dropped in from Las Vegas to do the musical Chicago on Thurs night at Shreveport Little Theater. Her dancing, singing, smile, eyes, figure and vibe were top tier. Happily, Jennifer Warren, her foil, proved a gifted, appealing and watchable dancer, comic and hip-shaking broad. The balance between the leggy beauties was satisfying.

Enter John Bogan as the rapid firing, freewheeling attorney. Sizzling community theater was the result.

The trio were ably supported by a seasoned and tuneful gang of criminals, including the put-upon Michael Powell and the embodiment of a bluesy mama, Barbara Holmes.

The Chicago jazz orchestra, under the direction of Adam Philley, was on time and well modulated in volume (as heard from row H). There was piano (Robert Young), percussion (Kyle Denton), banjo (Bill Allen) and a honking horn section, which included Terry Wright, Paul Tinker, Hannah Morris, Bob and Candy Maynard and Cory Knippers.

Then there were the slinkies, the leggy gals and guys who added the hot mess factor. Well-choreographed and seemingly always in the right place with the right amount of shoulders and legs in the light were Brett Kessel, Leslie Townsend, Tori Smith, E. Grace Rambo, Gabrielle McFerren, Allison-Rebekah Miller, Hannah Morris, Taylor Green, Annie Barker, Claire Marie Watson, Nancy Dennis Campbell, Lisaann Kemper, Karisca Sellers, Kelly Vaden, Shalem Johnson and Tessa Anderson. Also Tristian Moss, J. Allen, Serdalyer Darden, Jamie Johnstone, Leo Vanderkuy, Christopher White, Luke Digilormo, Cody Allums and Victor Robert.

Laura Beeman Nugent's direction was tight. No apparent cues were missed on Thurs night, when the show ran 2 hours and 20 minutes. There were no issues with mics. Articulation by the principals was exemplary. And the chorus sang with tuneful majesty.

David White's lighting design was atmospheric, as was the set by Chris Gonzales. Costume designer Peggy San Pedro impressed by variety within consistency.

Highly recommended.

See performance dates and order tickets, $25. Box office: 318-424-4439.

Barbara Holmes (1)

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