Review: “CHICAGO” brings “All That Jazz” and much more to Dallas

“CHICAGO” runs through April 6 at AT&T Performing Arts Center’s Winspear Opera House and May 10-12 at the Bass Performance Hall.

"CHICAGO" at AT&T Performing Arts Center
Katie Frieden takes center stage as Roxie Hart in “CHICAGO” – Photos by Jeremy Daniel and courtesy of AT&T Performing Arts Center

The classic 1975 musical “CHICAGO” has been a mainstay on Broadway for decades now, with the show’s most recent revival having run for more than 25 years. As soon as “All That Jazz” hit the stage at AT&T Performing Arts Center’s Winspear Opera House on Thursday night, however, it was clear that “CHICAGO” is still a stunning and seductive showstopper in 2024.

The 1920s tale of murderous wannabe vaudeville stars Roxie Hart and Velma Kelly as they navigate their headline-grabbing trials and grapple with the fleeting nature of fame feels all too relevant in today’s true crime-obsessed world. Led by standout performances from Kailin Brown as Velma and Katie Frieden as Roxie, there was no shortage of Bob Fosse-style razzle dazzle to propel the story.

From the sashaying opening number to crowd-pleasing performances like “Cell Block Tango,” Brown commanded the stage. Brown’s presence and strong voice were an ideal match for the show’s style and class. In particular, “I Can’t Do It Alone” stood out as a showcase of Brown’s athleticism and wit as they departed from the show’s slinky and sensuous introductory songs for a cartwheeling and high-kicking dancing display.

"CHICAGO" at AT&T Performing Arts Center
Kailin Brown (right) as Velma Kelly

Likewise, Frieden embodied the show’s energy and dark humor as Roxie. Her self-titled act one number felt like an encapsulation of what an audience wants from “CHICAGO,” striking a balance between humor, moodiness and theater magic. Her introduction to the song also came across as an indicting reflection of our current culture, a testament to the quality of both the performer and the production.

Frieden’s puppet-like performance in “We Both Reached for the Gun” with Roxie’s money-hungry attorney Billy Flynn, played by Connor Sullivan, similarly stood out. Sullivan’s Las Vegas crooner’s confidence alongside Frieden’s comedic timing created a great pairing as Billy outlined his deceptive plan to help Roxie get away with murdering her lover.

Illeana “Illy” Kirven as Cook County Jail warden turned talent agent Matron “Mama” Morton and J. Terrell as the impressionable reporter Mary Sunshine also delivered first-act highlights with some of the night’s most impressive vocals in their respective solo numbers. Both actors infused a sense of heart into their characters as well, a dynamic sorely needed in a show where the central characters become increasingly reprehensible and self-absorbed throughout.

McKinney Repertory Theatre "Catch Me If You Can"
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The same sentiment goes for Robert Quiles as Roxie’s spineless husband, Amos. Quiles gives a toe-tapping rendition of his solo song “Mister Cellophane” in the second act. While it may be about how forgettable and invisible Amos is to the rest of the characters, it also happens to be one of the catchiest tunes in the show.

By the time the glittery finale rolled around, and the audience discovered Roxie and Velma’s fate, “CHICAGO” had more than delivered on its expectations as a thoroughly entertaining production of this longtime classic.

“CHICAGO” runs through April 6 at the AT&T Performing Arts Center’s Winspear Opera House in Dallas and May 10-12 at the Bass Performance Hall in Fort Worth. For more information on the show, including how to purchase tickets, visit


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