The poster outside the theatre reads "Sex, sleaze, sin"...and much more (can’t remember the whole list now). In the introduction they say...its all about murder, greed, corruption, violence, exploitation, adultery and treachery. The catch line is if you can’t be famous, be infamous.
The show lived up to these. It begins with a number 'All that Jazz' - beautifully choreographed...with hot women with perfect bods in SEXY form-fitting bodices and panty hose, good looking hunks in tight pants and body hugging see through shirts or just waistcoats.
And everything in black...the stage, the clothes...excellent and giving the effect that this is a dark tale... 'The Cell Block Tango' number where the six murderesses of the County Jail tell their tales of murder goes well with the entire theme.
Chicago tells the story of Roxie Hart, a chorus girl who murders her lover, then manages not only to avoid prison with the help of razzle-dazzle lawyer Billy Flynn, but uses the trial to propel herself to showbiz stardom along with another murderous chorus girl, Velma Kelly.
Roxie is played by a petite redhead and the way she blinks her eyes, nods her head and shakes her bum is brilliant...the act of innocence is perfect and she comes across as a pretty damsel in distress, so vulnerable rather than a cold blooded murderess. The song where Billy and Roxie tell her story to the press – 'We Both Reached for the Gun' is fabulous - my favorite in this show.
Then of course I mustn’t forget Sob sister reporter Mary Sunshine with her opera singer like voice. The shock comes later as they say ...'all is not what it looks like' and Mary Sunshine removes her dress and wig and we realize she’s a man!!!
Billy Flynn, the lawyer is properly slick and manipulative…his gelled hair, his suit says it all...His rendition of 'Razzle Dazzle' was really good. This is the only time we see a bit of color – white as the dancers do wonderful choreography with white feathers. The way they hide him, with only his face popping out...and then the other way around as they circle him and he appears like the centre of a flower...Brilliant and so clean...
If I forget to talk about Amos, Roxie’s husband then it would be just like in the play...his problem is that the whole world just passes by him without seeing him...his parents moved the house while he was away to school!!! The rendition of 'Mr. Cellophane' makes you think...how pathetic.
I remember Shabana Azmi telling someone on one of the dance shows that a good performer is one who even after finishing their performance, keep up the act till they leave the stage, as long as they are visible to the audience they must keep up the act.
That was another amazing aspect of this show...right through the show it had some of the actors sitting in chairs on the side of the stage and they were clapping their hands and clicking their fingers without a miss,in perfect sync...and they would move to a full out dance in the blink of an eye.
A delightful musical...