Share “John O'Hurley takes on role of Billy Flynn...”

John O'Hurley takes on role of Billy Flynn in 'Chicago'

Presented in Oklahoma City by Celebrity Attractions, the award-winning musical “Chicago” comes to the Civic Center Music Hall this week for eight performances.
BY RICK ROGERS, For The Oklahoman Modified: January 14, 2014 at 5:06 pm •  Published: January 12, 2014

Versatile performer

Not long after completing filming on “Dancing With the Stars,” O'Hurley called “Chicago” producer Barry Weissler with the idea of playing Flynn. Weissler was game, and O'Hurley stepped into the New York production in 2005. In the years since, he's returned to play Flynn whenever his schedule permits.

Known as the “Silver Tongued Prince of the Courtroom,” Flynn is a challenging role that requires a versatile actor capable of commanding the stage. And though the male lead has limited stage time, it's a role that can make or break a production of “Chicago.”

“Billy has charm and elegance but he's a dangerous man because he holds all of the cards,” O'Hurley said. “He's also the guy who never loses. The only time you see him change is in the second act. If the audience doesn't feel that the rules have changed, we haven't done our job.”

O'Hurley's versatility as an actor has afforded him numerous unusual opportunities, from playing J. Peterman on “Seinfeld” to voicing the character of King Neptune on “SpongeBob SquarePants.” The Maine native also has served as host of “Family Feud” and announcer for Purina's annual “National Dog Show.” While such projects have helped make O'Hurley one of today's busiest actors, he still relishes the opportunity to step back into the role of Flynn whenever possible.

“I love the show and I love the role,” O'Hurley said. “That's why I've been doing it on and off for eight years now. I was fortunate to be able to do the 10-year and 15-year anniversaries of the show, and I fully intend to do 20 and 25.”