The story of Roxie Hart, who becomes famous when she murders her lover, invents her defense, and manipulates the media to become a major celebrity.
A true New York City institution, Chicagohas everything that makes Broadway great: a universal tale of fame, fortune and all that jazz; one show-stopping-song after another; and the most astonishing dancing you’ve ever seen. No wonder Chicago has been honored with six Tony Awards®, two Olivier Awards®, a Grammy and thousands of standing ovations. It’s also no surprise that Chicagohas wowed audiences all around the world, from Mexico City to Moscow, from Sao Paulo to South Africa.
Ever inspiring and feeling even more timely now then when it was written, the female driven double murderess song and dancer is a romp through the corrupt prison and court systems of the 1920s. It feels as upbeat, smart and on point today as when it was written in 1975. You know a musical is intelligent, witty and connivingly devilish when its choicest songs about press manipulation, betrayal and selfishness could feel equally at home either on the Broadway stage or in any of the Presidential campaign trails in this election year.
For a Broadway musical that has lasted thousands of performances, played three different theaters, gone through a head-spinning number of cast changes and is about to reach its 20-year anniversary, “Chicago” is in remarkably good shape.
Celebs of all sorts go in and out of the show regularly (recent examples include a former teen star, “real housewife” and Heisman Trophy winner), which lends it a sort of newsworthiness.But the ongoing vitality of “Chicago” is primarily the product of its highly capable ensemble (who flawlessly execute Ann Reinking’s Fosse-style dance choreography) and orchestra (led by longtime music director Leslie Stifelman) and the brilliance of its Kander & Ebb score and dark book satirizing fundamental American institutions as shameless showbiz.
With the 20th Anniversary of Chicago speedily approaching, I took a trip to Broadway’s Ambassador Theatre to witness that timeless story of murder, greed, corruption, violence, exploitation, adultery and treachery… and rest assured, I still hold it near and dear to my heart!