‘Chicago’ Polishes Its Razzle-Dazzle Right Until Showtime

A couple of minutes after eight on Tuesday evening, Walter Bobbie, the director of the long-running Broadway revival of “Chicago,” walked onto the stage of the Ambassador Theater. He didn’t even get an opportunity to talk earlier than the gang rose to its ft, applauding, shouting and cheering.

The ovation lasted shut to 2 minutes.

“Have a seat,” Bobbie lastly stated. “Isn’t this an amazing way to celebrate a 25th anniversary? Oh, my God!”

And the ovations had been repeated, repeatedly, by way of the entire first act of a present whose return to the stage felt like a catharsis after 18 months of a darkened Broadway.

The solid and crew had continued to shine particulars proper as much as the opening, going over notes from the ultimate gown rehearsal on Tuesday afternoon.

“Act Two: Bianca, you are early with your ‘Hello, suckers,’” Greg Butler, the affiliate choreographer, stated to Bianca Marroquín, who was taking part in Velma Kelly. He requested her to stroll offstage and check out the doorway once more.

“Hello, suckers!” Marroquín stated a second later.

“Fierce, that’s how we do it,” Butler responded.

And with that, the solid of “Chicago,” the long-running musical by John Kander and Fred Ebb, obtained again to enterprise.

“Eighteen months is a lot,” Marroquín, who had performed Roxie Hart earlier than taking part in Velma, stated in an interview, coming off the stage to take a seat within the empty auditorium. “Everyone went through a lot of trauma and anxiety, and it wasn’t easy for us. Life goes boom-boom and takes the stage away. That was tough.”

She spoke of the feelings of being again. “This is what we do,” she stated. “Without this, our life sort of dimmed.”

Now “Chicago,” which is celebrating its 25th anniversary on Broadway this yr, is ready to see what its subsequent chapter will appear to be. Tourists, who make up two-thirds of the general Broadway viewers, are particularly essential to “Chicago.” One of the large lingering questions is when (or if) they’ll begin flocking again.

The “Chicago” director, Walter Bobbie, appeared moved when he took to the stage.Credit…Jeenah Moon for The New York Times

“We are certainly a tourist-driven show,” Bobbie stated. “We are going to find out. When you get to be past 10 years old, the New Yorkers who want to see the show have seen it.”

One of the folks readily available for Tuesday’s opening efficiency was a lifelong New Yorker, Peter Massaro, who paid $250 for a premium bundle from Mastercard that included dinner and a gathering with members of the solid. (“I’m still shaking,” he stated afterward.)

Massaro first noticed “Chicago” 20 years in the past. “I haven’t seen it since,” he stated. “I’m a huge Bob Fosse fan. It’s a great show from start to finish. The dancing alone.”

Massaro, who wore a rhinestone bow tie for Broadway’s return, stated he had no considerations about seeing a present within the midst of a pandemic. “They check for vaccines and masks,” he stated. “People are respectful of that, especially in the Broadway community.”

There was some motive for optimism. Holly Armitage and her husband, Albert, who stay in Kansas City, Kan., have made it a apply for years to fly to New York to see reveals. She jumped to e book flights as quickly as she heard Broadway was opening once more.

“I thought this was going to be the first night on Broadway,” she stated on the “Chicago” reopening. “I realize now a few things have already opened.”

And “Chicago” will not be the one present on their agenda. “We are seeing ‘Lion King’ tomorrow,” she stated, including that they’d return later this month for “Moulin Rouge! The Musical.”

Will out-of-towners begin coming again to New York? “Oh, absolutely,” she stated.