Somewhere inside Roxie Hart’s first number [of The Keegan Theatre’s new production of Chicago], “Funny Honey,” during which the brazen, fame-craving floozy introduces her sorry sap of a husband Amos, it dawns that this Roxie is bananas. Portrayed by Maria Rizzo with a bold mix of moxie and murderous rage, she’s Roxie unhinged. And she is amazing.
As most audience members will arrive with memories of other Roxies and Velmas in their heads, it’s a sheer delight to be in the company of a Roxie the world hasn’t met a hundred times already. … Matched with Michael Innocenti’s limpid portrayal of Amos, who’s a perfectly pathetic patsy, and Kurt Boehm’s solid take on fast-talking flim-flammer Billy Flynn, this Roxie revitalizes the familiar tale of celebrity and corruption.
Directors Susan Marie Rhea and Mark A. Rhea envelop Roxie and Velma in a pleasingly dark, rough world dominated by set designer Matthew J. Keenan’s marvelous, multi-tiered Cook County Jail. … Music director Jake Null draws a raw rag and blues out of the songs, especially Roxie and Velma’s “Nowadays” and Innocenti’s moving “Mister Cellophane.” … At every turn, the cast is beautifully supported by evocative period costumes, and hair and makeup design. And choreographer Rachel Leigh Dolan does her usual exceptional job of infusing flapper-happy dances with wit and rich nuggets of story.