Broadway marquees aren’t hard to miss, but the “Chicago” marquee above the Ambassador Theatre catches your eye as soon as you turn down 49th Street. This also says a lot about the show, with its catchy jazz tunes and excellent choreography, and how the musical has been a Broadway staple for so long.
The show was the first musical of 2016 offered by Student Activities at a discount for only $20. It was an opportunity that many students couldn’t pass up.
The Vaudeville-style musical has its fair share of announcing songs with “ladies and gentlemen” and flourishing dance moves as the audience is taken to 1920s Chicago. Roxie Hart is sent to jail after she murders her lover and joins famous murderess Velma Kelly in jail. She gets Chicago’s best lawyer Billy Flynn, played by NFL star Eddie George, to get her out of being found guilty and executed. Roxie’s time in jail and her trial are told through brilliant jazz numbers with eccentric dancing.
“All That Jazz” and “Cell Block Tango” stole the show for the first act, as two of the most popular songs from the show. Act I was used as a set-up for Act II as tensions continue to rise as Roxie’s trial date looms nearer. Although she is loving the publicity, Billy Flynn tries to work with her to come up with a good alibi so she is able to acquitted. The show ends with a spectacular routine with Velma and Roxie getting past their differences and finally dancing together.
A very minimalistic set, with the orchestra pit taking up most of the stage in an innovative way allows the performance to be the center of attention. Lighting techniques and the use of ladders and chairs make the audience use their imagination. This isn’t very hard, since the dancers tell the stories through their high kicks and of course the ever-important jazz hands.
When it comes to a classic Broadway show like “Chicago,” you can expect a show you’ll never forget with dance moves you only wish you could do. It captured the essence of the stereotypical 1920s in a creative and fun way that will leave you laughing at the sass and devious-ness of these burlesque stars.
If you enjoy a classic Broadway show that showcases talent in a grand way, “Chicago” is your show. Just don’t tell people you’re going to “Chicago” without mentioning that it’s a musical first.