The very first thing that is noticeable about Chicago the musical is that this is not the Oscar Award winning 2002 film. Sure it is similar to that, and features more or less the same exciting plot, musical numbers and characters but if you really dig down and analyze it turns out to be completely different. In my opinion the stage adaptation of the blockbuster movie is an entirely different affair. Unlike the movie, all the stage performers wear black and sometimes revealing costumes and majority of the stage props consist of nothing but ladders and chairs. The highlight of the musical is its brilliant Bob Fosse choreography which sets this production apart from other musicals and contributes heavily to the overall feel of the show, sometimes even surpassing the main plot. So the question whether you’ll enjoy spending your money on this musical depends solely on whether you enjoy choreographed routines or not. If you do, you’ll surely have an experience unlike any other. The costumes feel authentic and the stage design is breathtaking and accurately depicts an early 90’s Chicago. Music and lyrics penned by Kander and Ebb are superb and on par with other smash hit musicals.
The story is set in a 1920’s Chicago. Vaudevillian Velma Kelly murders both her husband and sister after she finds them in bed together. In the meantime chorus girl Roxie Hart murders her lover and is imprisoned at the Cook County Jail, after her faithful husband Amos refuses to take the blame. The prison already houses Velma Kelly and a corrupt matron “Mama” Morton who does favors in exchange for favors. Velma is not pleased to see Roxie Hart who continuously hits on her lawyer, the brilliant Billy Flynn. In her efforts to get free Roxie uses every trick in the book to avoid a death penalty and get back into the limelight where she thinks she truly belongs.
With its simple setting and story line the lead performers really needed to impress the audience with brilliant acting and dancing from the moment they appear on stage, and they’ve done exactly that. Characters of Velma, Roxie, Mama Matron and Billy Flynn have been performed magnificently and immerse the audience in the story line as soon as the curtains are lifted.
The ensemble cast carries the show brilliantly with impressive vocals. Numbers such as “All That Jazz”, “We Both Reached for the Gun”, and “Razzle Dazzle” are engaging and utterly scintillating.
Chicago the musical is an adult affair through and through. Entertainment value of the show is top notch and production values are unmatched. During its original run in 1996, the musical won pretty much all major awards Broadway has to offer including a Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Revival of a Musical and a Tony Award for Best Revival of a Musical. It is highly recommended to fans of Broadway that they watch this one at least once and popular website Ticket Vistas can make it happen for them. You will exit the hall singing tunes from the show. That’s a guarantee!