They say that Bob Fosse's original 1975 production of Chicago failed to make a big impact on mainstream culture because it was overshadowed by the same year's watershed A Chorus Line or because culturally we weren't as tuned into that kind of celebrity criminal idea until decades later. Now, in light of phenomenal success of Chicago's (still running) 1996 revival and the Academy Award-winning 2002 film, it's hard to believe the production with Chita Rivera (and, not to mention, Gwen Verdon) was less successful. Certainly, and without a doubt, no one has ever belted "All That Jazz" with more passion and style than Chita Rivera.
(Ben Rimalower is the author and original star star of the critically acclaimed Patti Issues. Read Playbill.com's coverage of the solo show here. Visit him at benrimalower.com and follow @benrimalower on Twitter.)
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