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Sunday, February 17, 2013


Kyra Da Costa

DON’T MISS MUSICAL--Stage right seats for opening night of the venerable jazzy musical “Chicago,” seemed a bit more snug than I remember as a North Park kid taking in a Saturday cinema matinee at the North Park Theatre.  But, that was soon forgotten as the curtain rose on San Diego Musical Theatre’s first musical of 2013.

In short, producers Gary and Erin Lewis picked the right show and assembled a terrific cast, for a killer evening that did justice to the original Broadway book by Fred Ebb and Bob Fosse.
Directed by Ron Kellum with choreography by Randy Slovacek San Diego’s version of “Chicago” is loud, lusty and absolutely entertaining.  The cozy Birch North Park Theatre lends itself to such in-you-face musicals and with every number you see just how much fun this mix of canny equity stars and locals pros can have on stage. 

This night, the showpiece opener “All that Jazz,” opened a bit stiff, but by the end of the famed number the cast had put its energy in all the right places. 

Stars definitely took charge.  Kyra Da Costa put more into her Velma Kelly than the film version.  Seeing her diversity in “I can’t do it alone” came on the heels of Emma Radwick’s Roxie Hart, who on this night breathlessly owned “Roxie.”  Robert Townsend was flawless as the cunning shark lawyer Billy Flynn.  His stage presence was commanding and the rest of the cast fed off his workmanship.

Overall, what a night.  Pinch yourself North Park, a damn fine musical is in the village until March 3.  Don’t miss it.

Local notes:  Emma Radwick (Roxie) was a Charger girl recently and St. Augustine High’s band director Brandon Jagow (tuba/bass) was in Don Le Master’s “Chicago” orchestra.
And, once you see Ms. Radwick perform Roxie with her “boys” on stage and if compared with the cinema version (see You Tube) of the same number—we got the better deal, San Diego!

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