20-Day Countdown! The Top 20 Tony Performances of My Lifetime: #17: CHICAGO, 1997

Seventeen days until the Tony Awards!  We are at #17 on my 20-day Countdown of the Top 20 Tony Performances of My Lifetime.

I take you today to a hot time in the old town tonight, as we watch Ann Reinking and Bebe Neuwirth tear up some serious screen in the glitzy, Prohibition-era revival of Chicago.  We all know the story of the satirical spin on Prohibition criminal justice and the celebrity criminal; we've all seen the Academy Award-winning film version.  But man, you ain't seen nuthin' until you've seen Reinking and Neuwirth shimmy-shake in one of the finest dance sequences ever inspired by choreographer Bob Fosse (who choreographed the original production in 1975) and in the longest-running American musical, the longest-running Broadway revival, and the fourth-longest-running overall show in Broadway history.  The revival show won six Tony Awards in 1997, including all the major categories of Best Revival of a Musical and Best Leading Actors, as well as Best Choreographer, which isn't always major, except for one thing: Ann Reinking not only starred in the show, but she also choreographed it.  Yeah, I know!  Badass.

But the show's satire is rooted in history.  The musical is based on a play of the same name by reporter Maurine Dallas Watkins, who was assigned to cover the 1924 trials of murderesses Beulah Annan and Belva Gaertner for the Chicago Tribune.  Ann Reinking and Bebe Neuwirth stand in for your murderesses, and without further ado, here they are in the 1997 Tony Award full-cast performance of “All That Jazz" and the foot-stompin' dynamic-duo performance of “Hot Honey Rag."  Hotcha!

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