Chicago

Wonderful show. I have seen this one before as it was on tour so it was interesting to see the differences. I don’t remember every part of the previous performance – I do know the stage was set slightly differently because the orchestra (always on stage for Chicago) was on a different kind of set-up (rounded not straight – difficult to explain) and it did change the show but not in a hugely significant way. The difference I notice when I see this on stage – as opposed to the movie – is the way the Cell Block Tango is performed. In the movie it is done with male dancers and red scarves artful played with by the different murderesses as they commit the murder(s). That’s the only part I miss. Other than that everyone on the stage was dressed in black – same costume for the entire show with the minor adjustment of shows by the lead characters (it’s referred to though). There is a cast of attractive dancers, but interestingly it always seems like there are more but when the cast came on stage for bows the cast seemed surprisingly small. The bows themselves were interesting in that all the actors were introduced by name – quickly of course but still – as well as the orchestra conductor. I love the way the stage is set – using very no animation, just good music, lighting, and stage setting. It is all minimal but very well used. What I like about it is that it allows the real talent to shine. You know for sure that everyone on stage can sing, dance, and (for the most part) act. There is very little acting in many roles but they all show the promise of great acting skills if they don’t actually show them off.

I often wonder though if they get someone Hungarian to play the ballerina girl or if the girl must learn the lines after been cast. I assume something more like the first, but then it’s not uncommon for actors to learn other languages for a role – famously Helen Mirren in Sophie’s Choice learned Polish and German delivering her lines beautifully in both languages. Great as the movie is I don’t recommend it for the faint-hearted – I’ve never been able to watch the whole thing.

So overall great experience in theater, would be particularly enjoyable for a jazz lover. And how could you not love jazz after this show?

These pictures include some of the framed pictures and articles about the opening show at Garrick Theater.

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