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John Kander and the jazzy, ever-relevant 'Chicago'
John Kander and the jazzy, ever-relevant 'Chicago'

First, some numbers. Forty years ago, a musical called "Chicago" opened on Broadway. It had a decent run of 936 performances, but it couldn't keep up with another show that debuted in 1975 and hogged the spotlight — "A Chorus Line." Flash forward to 1996, when a revival of "Chicago" took New York by surprise and, after hitting performance No. 7,486 last November, surpassed "Cats" as the second-longest-running show in Broadway history. It's still playing there. The 2002 movie version of the musical piled up some impressive figures, too, grossing more than $300 million and taking home six Academy Awards, including Best Picture,...

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