Theater Review: Chicago

Marist College’s Student Programming Council (SPC) sponsored a trip to see the Broadway musical, Chicago, on Feb. 10 at the Ambassador Theatre in New York City for mere $25.

The Chicago revival,which has won numerous Tony Awards and a Grammy, also earned the honor of being the longest-running American musical in history, as it has been on stage in New York City since 1996.

This show has been such a successful production due to the universally-recognizable songs like “The Cell Block Tango” and “All That Jazz,” composed by John Kander, as well as the extravagant choreography which was directly inspired by Bob Fosse.

As a fan of more modern Broadway productions such as Dear Evan Hansen, Come From Away and Waitress, my expectations were not particularly high. However, I was pleasantly surprised by this wonderful production.

The show was packed with talent, even though Cuba Gooding Jr., commonly from American Crime Story and Selma, was not performing as originally announced. The leading ladies, Charlotte d’Amboise and Amra-Faye Wright, played Roxie and Velma respectively.

These women, as well as the entire cast, nailed the choreography and brought the famous songs to life. My personal favorite songs were “Roxie” and “Cell Block Tango,” the latter of which is brought to life by six talented women and is both comically and musically excellent. “Roxie” is hilarious and powerful because of d'Amboise’s timing and vocal talents.

Unlike some of the other shows that SPC has sold tickets for, like Anastasia or Wicked, Chicago has a very minimalistic set. Besides the chairs needed for much of the choreography, the set is just an elevated riser, allowing the members of the orchestra to be seen throughout the production while the cast performed in front of them.

Although it’s set in the 1920s, Chicago does not feel dated, especially with the current debates over the corruption of the prison system. The show is upbeat, funny yet dramatic and relatable; even though we hopefully are not murderous women in Chicago, we all have experienced the yearning for more recognition and fame.

This incredible show is done with such flair that the audience can’t help but remain involved in the moment and leave singing “All That Jazz” on their way home. This trip was yet another wonderful experience with the help of SPC and the brilliant creative minds behind Chicago.

Jennifer BradfordComment