Former Buckeye Eddie George running to Cleveland’s Playhouse Square in ‘Chicago’

Running back Eddie George ran his way to a Heisman Trophy as a member of the Buckeyes at the Ohio State University.

In the NFL, he fought for yards as a member of the Houston Oilers, Tennessee Titans and Dallas Cowboys.

Lately, though, he’s played in Chicago.

Wait, sorry — make that “Chicago.”

Eddie George took on the prominent role of attorney Billy Flynn — the character portrayed by Richard Gere in the 2002 Oscar-winning big-screen adaptation — for a Broadway production in 2016, later going on the road. Having already played in Akron, the tour will be at Cleveland’s Playhouse Square in performances Nov. 27 through Dec. 2.

George, Eddie by Jeremy Daniel IMG_3384
Eddie George has some sexy company as Billy Flynn in the musical “Chicago.” (Photos by Jeremy Daniel)

Here is some general show information taken from a news release from Playhouse Square:

With a legendary book by Fred Ebb and Bob Fosse, music by John Kander and lyrics by Fred Ebb, CHICAGO is now the #1 longest-running American musical in Broadway history.

Produced by Barry and Fran Weissler, “Chicago” is the winner of six 1997 Tony Awards including Best Musical Revival and the Grammy Award for Best Musical Cast Recording.

The national tour is directed by David Hyslop and choreographed by David Bushman. Walter Bobbie is the director of the original New York Production and Ann Reinking was the original choreographer in the style of Bob Fosse. “Chicago” features set design by John Lee Beatty, costume design by William Ivey Long, lighting design by Ken Billington and sound design by Scott Lehrer. The production also features orchestrations by Ralph Burns, supervising music direction by Rob Fisher.

Set amidst the razzle-dazzle decadence of the 1920s, “Chicago” is the story of Roxie Hart, a housewife and nightclub dancer who murders her on-the-side lover after he threatens to walk out on her. Desperate to avoid conviction, she dupes the public, the media and her rival cellmate, Velma Kelly, by hiring Chicago’s slickest criminal lawyer to transform her malicious crime into a barrage of sensational headlines, the likes of which might just as easily be ripped from today’s tabloids.

Tickets go on sale Sept. 7. To snag ’em, go to the Playhouse Square Ticket Office, 1519 Euclid Ave, visit playhousesquare.org or call 216-241-6000. Group orders of 15 or more may be placed by calling 216-640-8600.

Check out a segment ABC’s “Good Morning America” did on the Broadway production in 2016:

Some more on George from the release:

Prior to taking the stage in “Chicago,” Eddie appeared in such works as Matthew Lopez’s “The Whipping Man” (Nashville Repertory Theatre), Suzan-Lori Parks’ “Topdog/Underdog” (Amun Ra Theatre) and in the title roles of both “Othello” and “Julius Caesar” at the Nashville Shakespeare Festival.

His transition to the stage completes the journey that he began following the conclusion of his NFL playing career, which saw him providing commentary and analysis for the Tennessee Titans and FOX’s college football coverage. George won screen time in such TV series as NBC’s “American Dream Builders” and in such films as “Best Man Holiday” and “The Game Plan.”

Since then, George has worked to refine his craft onstage, including not only the credits indicated above, but also work with his Nashville-based theatrical troupe, Actors by George, which he founded in 2012.

Eddie George won the Heisman Trophy in 1995 while playing for the Ohio State University. That honor served as the prelude to a nine-year career in the NFL, which saw him lead the Tennessee Titans to Super Bowl XXXIV and selected to the Pro Bowl four consecutive years, finishing his career with the Dallas Cowboys under legendary coach Bill Parcells.

Since the conclusion of his playing career, George has additionally received his MBA from Northwestern University and founded Edward George Wealth Management Group. He resides in Nashville with his wife, Tamara Johnson, and his family. He is on the board of the Tennessee Performing Arts Center in Nashville.


Mark Meszoros remembers how good George was wearing that No. 27 for the Buckeyes and hopes to see if he’s as good in a suit on stage. Follow him on Twitter @MarkMeszoros.

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