A true New York City institution, Chicago has everything that makes Broadway great: a universal tale of fame, fortune and all that jazz; one show-stopping song after another, and the most astonishing dancing you’ve ever seen. No wonder Chicago has been honored with six Tony Awards®, two Olivier Awards®, a Grammy® and thousands of standing ovations…
A true New York City institution, Chicago has everything that makes Broadway great: a universal tale of fame, fortune and all that jazz; one show-stopping song after another, and the most astonishing dancing you’ve ever seen. No wonder Chicago has been honored with six Tony Awards®, two Olivier Awards®, a Grammy® and thousands of standing ovations.
It’s also no surprise that Chicago has wowed audiences all around the world, from Mexico City to Moscow, from São Paulo to South Africa. Whether you’re looking for your first Broadway musical, whether you’ve seen the Academy Award®-winning film and want to experience the show live on stage or whether you’ve seen it before and want to recapture the magic, Chicago always delivers.
Nine days before Chicago hits the stage at The Broward Center for the Performing Arts, John O’Hurley who stars as Billy Flynn came into town for a luncheon at the Center that I was honored to be invited to. Afterwards we were able to sit down with Mr. O’Hurley for a short interview.
Are you excited about being on the Broadway tour of Chicago?
Well, I have played Billy for over 1,000 performances over the years, but yes, I am always excited to play him again and be a part of this show.
How do you feel about performing in Fort Lauderdale?
A lot of people don’t know this, but I have a special connection to Fort Lauderdale. My family moved here from New England for my last year of high school and I graduated from Cardinal Gibbons. At first it was intimidating moving to a new city where I knew nobody, but then I realized that it was also freeing as I could re-invent myself. I could be anything I wanted to be as no one knew me and there were no preconceived notions. I became an “A” student, a golfer, joined the basketball team and started acting. It was the single year that produced the most growth in my life. Needless to say I have a very fond feeling in my heart for Fort Lauderdale and always will.
In addition, I am so excited to perform at the Broward Center for the Performing Arts now that it has had a major renovation inside.
I would be remiss if I didn’t ask you about your character, J. Peterman, on Seinfeld. How was that experience?
It’s just one of those great moments of your life when you are with the championship team and you are playing the Super Bowl. The best part about it was that I knew that when we were filming it, so I made every moment count.
A lot of people don’t know that John Peterman was a fictional replaying of a real person and company. Did you ever meet the real John Peterman?
A year after Seinfeld ended I got a call from the real John Peterman and since 1999 I have been part-owner of the company. There are many times that we walk down the street after a board meeting and people scream out “Hey Peterman” and they are talking to me, not him.
What keeps you coming back to Chicago?
I truly believe it’s one of the five best musicals ever created. This is a timeless show in its subject matter combined with, in my opinion, the best music by Kander and Ebb and the best choreography by Bob Fosse. After all these years Chicago never fails to draw people to the theater.
The best part about Chicago for me is that I know at 8 p.m. I will be taking the audience on a journey and 2 ½ hours later they will have had the best time and they will be on their feet applauding. Very few shows can guarantee this, but Chicago always does!
What is the best thing about performing in Chicago?
I get to go on stage every night with 12 women wearing lingerie.
Tell me about working with this touring group?
This is truly one of the most exciting groups I have ever worked with and features some of the greatest performers I have ever seen. There is an amazing amount of young talent in this cast!
CHICAGO will be playing at The Broward Center for the Performing Arts (201 SW Fifth Avenue, Ft Lauderdale, FL, 33312) from October 9 – 20. Tickets start at $34.50