By Ben Rimalower
31 Aug 2013
|Photo by Uli Weber|
Sandy Duncan as Roxie Hart in Chicago
I was devastated that by the time I got to see the 1996 revival of Chicago, Ann Reinking had already left the role of Roxie. Over the first few years I lived in New York, I "second acted" Chicago many times, catching excellent performances (or partial performances) by a host of different Roxies and Velmas, including Bebe Neuwirth in both roles. I was smart enough to buy a ticket and see both acts when Sandy Duncan played a short run as Roxie. Duncan was, without question, my favorite Roxie. She was the only Roxie I saw who really seemed like a housewife gone wrong and she had just the slightest twinkle in her eye indicating that throughout, she was delighted to be doing it. Her dancing and singing were wonderful and expressive and seemed to overtake her like some kind of demonic possession and she remained always lovable. I was also lucky enough to see her amazing performance as Peter Pan on Broadway in 1980 (before Cathy Rigby began her endless tour). I wish Sandy Duncan did Broadway more often! Continued...