Tuesday, August 22, 2006
Will Usher Razzle Dazzle 'em?
Alright, I know I've already been quite dismissive of the stunt casting of R&B superstar Usher Raymond (yes, Raymond! Who knew?) in the nearly decade-old revival of Chicago, but I'm willing to listen to what anyone else has to say about his performance as Billy Flynn, which begins tonight.
One blogger whose opinion I value is Chris Caggiano. Chris, who writes Everything I Know I Learned from Musicals, had this to say after Usher's casting was announced: "I have little doubt that Usher in Chicago will be very lucrative for the Weisslers. But I have a feeling that his presence will distract people from the show itself. "
Does this 27 year old self-assured crooner have the necessary chops to make for a believable shyster attorney? With all the buzz, including in some positive press like last Friday's The New York Times story by Campbell Robertson, there's bound to be some modicum of success.
One thing has already been assured -- tickets are selling at a brisk pace and Usher's entrance into this durable show may attract fresh audiences to Broadway's Ambassador Theatre; hopefully that will result in a newfound love for the medium of theatre in more than one Usher fan.
I think it was in that spirit that blogger Stephen Mosher has rightfully asked, "Won't it be funny if Usher is actually good?" Yes, and you can bet that Usher will have the last laugh -- along with the Weisslers!
This is Steve On Broadway (SOB).
Click here for tickets.
We Had It Coming: Chicago's Starry 10th Anniversary (July 26, 2006)
Chicago to Usher in New Billy Flynn (July 14, 2006)