"You used to be able to accept people dancing in their living rooms," sighed the 42--year-old di- rector-choreographer one morning at the Four Seasons in Beverly Hills,after the resounding Los Angeles premiere."People won ’t do that now.I read one script,an early version,where we open on a shot of the city,and we pan down to a man- hole cover — out pops a construction worker,,who starts singing,‘Come on,babe …’ And then it got more awful.I hate those cringey moments when you ’re thinking,‘Oh — they ’re about to sing.’ They belong on a stage — not the street.."
Clearly,Marshall is onto something.Thursday morning,the Hollywood Foreign Press awarded "Chicago " eight Golden Globe nominations — more nods than any other film received — includ-- ing one for Marshall himself,and nominations for stars Renée Zellweger,Catherine Zeta-Jones and Richard Gere,as well as "Chicago " costars Queen Latifah and John C.Reilly.And at each of the film ’s three premieres — Los Angeles,,New York and London — jaded movie--biz types clapped after every single number,not one of which is particu- larly derivative of the Fosse signature style.
"I ’m particularly proud that we didn ’t actually use the Fosse vocabulary," explains Marshall,,who went from choreographing on Broadway to co-di- recting Bob Fosse ’s "Cabaret " with Sam Mendes on-- stage before directing the well-received television version of "Annie " in 1999.."I would never do wa- tered-down Fosse.I was looking for my own way."
Instead Marshall was inspired by the film "King of Jazz," made in 1930;;Ken Burns ’ recent Jazz series and work by vaudeville painter Reginald Marsh.
All of the numbers composed by John Kander and Fred Ebbs,former Fosse collaborators,were in- spired by traditional vaudeville acts,and every act was performed entirely by Zellweger,Zeta-Jones and Gere,as the film ’s ending credits point out.