Chicago brings the razzle dazzle to Cardiff!

Set in Chicago in the Jazz era, the musical is based on a play of the same name from 1926 by Maurine Dallas Watkins. First staged in 1975 on Broadway in the 46th Street Theatre,Chicago is the second longest running show to ever run onBroadway! 

As the audience enter the theatre, a single chair in a spotlight is the only prop on an otherwise darkened stage, framed by a huge gold gilded picture frame. The show begins by revealing the orchestra centre stage in a rather impressive tiered seating layout, enabling the audience to fully see and appreciate the talented musicians. From the moment the dancers enter the stage you are simply in awe of their amazing talent, these scantily clad and very toned performers are on point withdances which were very tight and perfectly executed moves accompanied by stunning vocals. A particular highlight,which evoked gasps of joy from the audience was Velma Kelly (Djalenga Scott) rising up through the floor in the middle of the orchestra which was very dramatic and set the stage for her character of a real attention seeker. The story revolves around the murder committed by Roxie Hart (Faye Brookes) and a rather outrageous attempt to prove her innocence by corrupt, money hungry Billy Flynn (Lee Mead).

 

The beginning of Act 2 was very refreshing, opening with the orchestra performing a medley of the show’s songs, also throwing in some dance moves. This allows the audience to fully appreciate and applaud for them, something often missed in the big shows as we forget what an integral part the orchestra play! The show then follows the story to its conclusion with more impressive singing and dance numbers. Many of the cast remain on stage during performances which they are not directly involved in, seated on chairs as though also watching the show in which I found unusual but allows the cast to smoothly transition from scene to scene as they are in such close proximity. A few of the songs are also acted out by other cast members through dance which was very enjoyable. Whilst you may be more familiar with the 2002 film starring Catherine Zeta-Jones seeing the musical come to life gives it a different edge. I found I recognised more songs than I had expected to such as ‘All that Jazz’ and ‘Razzle Dazzle’ and a particular favourite was the Cell Block Tango which I thought the ladies performed brilliantly with slick moves it was truly captivating to watch!

 

In short, Chicago is raunchy, sexy and glamorous it was hard to know where to look on the stage as there was always something to look at! A story of murder, glamour and corruption with a smattering of humour it will keep you guessing and thoroughly entertained. So if you enjoy a sexy storyline full of intrigue accompanied by jazz and dazzle this is the show for you!

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