‘Chicago’ jazzes up the audience

“Chicago,” the second longest-running show in Broadway history after Andrew Lloyd Webber’s “Phantom of the Opera,” holds the record for the longest-running musical revival and the longest-running American musical on Broadway. Since its official opening on November 14, 1996, this iconic musical has stood the test of time in the fiercely competitive Broadway scene. Seeing this show at Pantages Theatre was one of my favorite experiences. The cast was lively, and the show, as usual, was phenomenal.
As Velma and Mama Morton sang about the concept of class, it became evident that Chicago possesses an abundance of it. The production defies the need for extravagant sets or elaborate costume changes, instead relying on a live band, jazz filled songs and Bob Fosse-style choreography to captivate audiences. The sleek, all-black costumes designed by William Ivey Long add to the show’s sensuality, becoming as recognizable as its glittering red logo. On another note, undeniably the best number in the show had to have been “They Both Reached for the Gun” capturing the moments that occurred during Roxie’s case trial.
The story of Chicago is captivating, and “They Both Reached for the Gun” is a turning point. This riveting song adds a witty and humorous touch to the courtroom drama as Roxie’s case develops. The choreography deftly illustrates the manipulation and control used over the media and public image, with a feel evocative of a puppeteer manipulating marionettes. Chicago expertly displays its comments on the sensationalism and deception that come with chasing justice and celebrity through this song. The clever words and catchy tune serve as a profound reflection of society’s fixation with spectacle and scandal, in addition to providing entertainment. It’s proof of the musical’s ability to combine catchy songs and social critique in a seamless manner, making it a highlight of an already outstanding production. This song makes for a wonderful production of the overall theme being presented in the show: that drama and publicity are entertaining and exhilarating.
There is no denying “Chicago’s” underlying message: fame and fortune are more important than feelings of guilt or innocence to society. The terrible end of Hunyak, an accused murderer whose frantic Hungarian cries of innocence are abruptly silenced by her unfair hanging sentence, serves as a poignant illustration of this overriding topic. The current group of merry murderesses, which includes Floyd’s tough and intelligent Velma and Frieden’s joyful and aspirational Roxie, perform exceptionally well. Even while Velma’s act “All That Jazz” started off the show strong, there were no individual performances that stood out. While this, in my opinion, is true, they make a significant contribution to the rich history of Velmas and Roxies throughout the show’s history.
All things considered, Chicago still “razzle dazzles” audiences and sets the standard for Broadway brilliance. The musical’s captivating blend of jazz, dance, and gripping plot has kept audiences enthralled throughout its record-breaking run and ageless appeal. Chicago serves as a reminder that the true value of theater is not found in spectacle but rather in the unadulterated skill of its actors and the universality of its subjects. In conclusion, the program offers viewers a provocative message regarding the nature of freedom, guilt, and the cost of notoriety.