Maui OnStage brings a sizzling, sarcastic and oh-so-satisfying rendition of the hit musical "Chicago" to the Historic Iao Theater.
The show just oozes with talent, from the intriguing choreography by Alexander Cardinalli, to the sexed-up costumes by Sarah Lonely, to the polished directing by Alexis Dascoulias, to the brilliant singing, acting and dancing by some of Maui's best performers.
Lia Krieg steals the show with awe-inspiring vocals, stunning dance sequences and commanding stage presence. Her portrayal of Velma Kelly is sexy, brazen and seemingly effortless.
“Chicago”?stars Lia Krieg (left) and Casey Murphy
JACK GRACE photo
As murderess Roxie Hart, Casey Murphy is cheeky, audacious and refreshingly vulnerable. Happy to sacrifice glamor for laughs, she dives into the slapstick, over-the-top humor of the role with hilarious results.
Charles Cook rocks the house as world-wise celebrity lawyer Billy Flynn. His strong voice, self-confidence and charm make him a force onstage.
As murderess row matron Mama Morton, Alison Mikes shows off a rich, powerful voice and a sassy personality. Her solo number, "When You're Good to Mama," and a gorgeous duet, "Class," sung with Lia Krieg, are both highlights of the show.
Chris Kepler is an unassuming Amos Hart, Roxie's smitten but downtrodden husband, until the second act when he busts out a pitch-perfect performance of "Mr. Cellophane."
Kelsey Christian creates laughs and confusion as cross-dressing reporter Mary Sunshine. Steven Dascoulias leads the audience through the show as the big-voiced band leader. Noelani Neal plays the sympathetic Hungarian convict Katalin Hunyak, while Sarah Lonely plays the feisty socialite Go To Hell Kitty. Michael Pulliam is Roxie's ill-fated lover Fred Casely. Rueben Carrion plays Sergeant Fogarty and Charlie Dungans plays the judge.
The ensemble numbers are all top-notch, loaded with energy, attitude and sex appeal. The talented dancers include Patty Sylva as Liz, Jonna Ahn as Annie, Camille Romero as June, Noelani Neal as Katalin, Ellen Peterson as Mona, Melissa Ryan as Veronica, Dale Button as Aaron, Max Reid as Harry and the Doc, and Eric Peterson. Choreographer Cardinalli is the lead male dancer, Harrison, showing off his dancing chops with a great tap solo.
The hottest show of the year so far, this is one crowd-pleaser that deserves every standing ovation it receives.
* "Chicago" plays at the Historic Iao Theater at 7:30 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays and 3 p.m. Sundays through July 31. Tickets are $15 to $40. Pre-show dinner theater packages by Cafe O'Lei in Wailuku or Bistro Casanova in Kahului. Call the Maui OnStage offices at 244-8680 for dinner theater information. For tickets, visit mauionstage.com or call 242-6969.