‘Chicago’ is Simply Sensational

Brandy, Roz Ryan Bring Their A-Games

Denny Paschall, Brandy Norwood as "Roxie Hart" and Michael Scirrotto (Photo courtesy of Jeremy Daniel)

Just a few days remain for the Kennedy Center’s delightful production of the Broadway classic and multi-Tony Award winning musical, “Chicago.”

Most theater lovers have probably seen this show enough times to sing along with the cast, but if you haven’t seen Brandy in the role of that femme fatale Roxie Hart, then “you ain’t seen nothing yet.” Brandy makes the role her own — embracing it in a way that other actresses can only dream. And for the record, the R&B singer known for her pitch perfect chops can also dance and act with similar aplomb.

But she doesn’t do it alone — not by a long shot.

She’s joined by another fan favorite Roz Ryan who brings new flavor in her portrayal of the women’s prison matron “Mama” Morton. In addition, Brent Barrett as the attorney known for making everyone beat the rap, Billy Flynn, is equally outstanding.

Understudy Lauren Gemelli filled in for Terra C. MacLeod as Velma Kelly — and while she gave it her best, she simply didn’t have the polish to go toe-to-toe with Brandy as the duo sang and danced their way to the play’s climactic conclusion.

There are singers who should stay in their lane, remain faithful to their fans and avoid professional opportunities that illustrate their shortcomings. Fortunately, such is not the case with Brandy.

She’s gained many fans, I’m sure, after scoring big in conquering this challenging role. I, for one, can’t wait to see what she reveals next in her talent-filled bag of tricks.

It looks like the Kennedy Center has been stricken with the “Midas Touch” recently.

Isn’t it delightful?

‘Chicago’ continues through Sunday, April 16 at the Kennedy Center’s Opera House.


About D. Kevin McNeir – Washington Informer Editor 293 Articles

Kevin, an award-winning veteran journalist, book editor and educator, is the editor for The Washington Informer where he displays a keen insight for political news, editorial development and lifestyle features. A staunch Wolverine, the Detroit native left a promising career at IBM to pursue his passion for writing under the tutelage of the late Sam Logan, founding publisher of the Michigan Chronicle. His journey has continued to press rooms in Grand Rapids, Chicago, Atlanta, Miami and currently Washington, D.C. With two master's degrees from Emory University and Princeton Theological Seminary, he finds great joy in his children and grandchildren and is completing his first book, "Growing up Motown" which chronicles his childhood memories with legends like Marvin Gaye, Kim Weston, the Four Tops, the Miracles, Gladys Knight, Berry Gordy and the Jackson Five.

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