Garrick Theatre, Charing Cross Road
|Murder, greed, corruption, violence, exploitation, adultery and treachery– all the things we hold near and dear to our hearts.
In this 1920’s Jazz musical we see Roxy Hart murder her lover for trying to end their affair and then convincing her husband Amos to tell the police he was a burglar and he shot him in defense. When Amos realises his wife has been cheating on him, he tells the police the truth and she is sent to prison. Velma Kelly, who has been making a splash all over the papers for murdering her husband and sister, is not too happy when Roxy enters prison and starts to steal her limelight. Chicago the Musical follows them as they prepare for their court trials (represented by the sharply dressed, ringleader Billy Flynn – played by Razza Jaffrey).
The night I saw this show was Media night – to welcome Spooks star Razza Jaffrey to the cast. I expected to see the full cast perform on such a big occasion with all the press there, and so I was surprised to see not one but two understudies performing this evening. The role of Amos Hart was substituted as well as the role of Mary Sunshine who played a rather unconvincing part (if you’ve seen the show you will know what I mean!)The role of Matron Mamma Morton was played flawlessly, as always by Jasna Ivir and Sarah Soetaert in the role of Roxie was the best I have seen since Emma Barton (Honey from Eastenders) in 2010.
This show is a classic. With just a jazz band for scenery and scantily clad men and women in simple (yet revealing) black costumes, the statement they are making is simple. They don’t need a fancy backdrop and colourful costumes to make this show amazing. The strong story line, amazing dancers and wonderful singing carry this show through all the way to the end without a lull in sight.
Chicago has lost some of it’s appeal since the jaw droppingly gorgeous Stuart Winter left (at the time the show transferred from the Cambridge theatre to its new home at the Garrick), but there is still pleanty of flesh for you to feast your eyes on and talent is never something you question when you see this show.