In a week where I have seen the glory of being a woman, it is appropriate for this musical to premiere to the Chicago audience. It is a celebration of the wonderfulness of sisterhood. The music makes you smile and the lines will make you laugh.
Just like in the 1996 movie, the story heroines are the three woman who gave their all for their men and then were dumped like yesterdays garbage. In a true “Desperate Housewives ” moment, four girls look to the future and the perfect lives to come. When life takes one of the girls down, she kills herself. This is an awakening moment for the girls who decide that they won’t end up like their friend. Broadway legend , Faith Prince steals the show as Brenda. Her belt takes over the stage as she sings of about the end of her marriage in “My Heart Wants to Try One More Time.” She also has the best lines in the show as she moans about how clothes are not for normal women. I think I heard about every woman in the audience cheer at that line. Christine Sherill returns to her sweet home Chicago to take to the stage as the “Divalicious” Elise. She balances the ego and the talent when she takes control and sticks it to her former husband and his “new” model (Mike McGowan, ) Carmen Cusack shines as Annie. She remains the font of optimism until reality stares her in the face. Her and hubby Aaron try to save their marriage with a marriage counselor. It’s a shame that he ends the marriage to start up with their counselor, Leslie Rosen. Thanks to their lesbian daughter played by Tara Macri, she helps the girls by working with Dad while she helps bury him. Another accomplice is the gbff of Brenda played hilariously by Patrick Richwood. He pulls off a ruse to screw Morty ( Sean Murphy Cullen) and his dumber than dirt girlfriend (Morgan Weed) . By playing a famous decorator, he deceives Shelley into buying all of Elise’s things at auction. This breaks him and sends him back to Brenda. Now the girls are smarter and realise they are powerful women them selves.
In a show that moves along and doesn’t drag, “First Wives Club” doesn’t disappoint. The smart and funny women created by the pen of Bloodworth Thompson are alive on this stage with great comebacks worthy of her classic characters. The chorus is lively and youthful and knows how to put the life into the R and B classics. You can’t help but tear up as the leads look back on love gone sour in “One Sweet Moment.” It will remind you of every romance that didn’t work out the way you planned it.
Direction is by Simon Phillips and the musical director is Kenny Seymour. The energetic choreography was done by David Connolly.The music was arranged by the world famous HB Barnum who has worked with Aretha Franklin. The show will be playing at the Oriental Theatre until March 29. For ticket information go to wwwBroadwayinChicago.com or www. FirstWivesClubTheMusical.com .