Chicago the Musical, I caught it just the other night, boshed me over the head with a swift kick, a discordant pirouette and All... that... Jazz.
I caught the touring version with Jennifer Ellison (precocious and energetic) as Roxy and Dawn Spence as Velma Kelly. No doubt, Spence upstaged Ellison with a sterling and accomplished performance. Her spotlight scene, dancing to impress Roxy was like an education in Jazz Dance, flowing and writhing like a muscular ballerina.
The dancing from the male department was muted, until the spotlight fell on them. By hell! Can these guys dance! C'est superb!
Perhaps the most important thing about Chicago, other than its undoubted ability to entertain is its popularity. Why, now is Chicago sooo big?
Well, if you stop for breath while being carried left, right, reach, step ball change with the cast, you'll begin to see its resonance.
Crime, law suits, greed, promiscuity, a selfish society and, in one scene, nostalgia for the past when people "had some class". Sound familiar? Thought so!
Chicago is just so Post-feminist! These ladies are the Spice Girls (apologies to the cast) of the '50's.
John Kander's Trad. Jazz score feverishly bounces along, repetitious, sleazy and witty, like a smaller-scale, Bernstein's West Side Story.
Ultimately, Chicago's direction mixes Modernist references with wit, guffaws and sheer entertainment. Chicago is like Postmodernism before Postmodernism ever came around!
Still haven't caught the show?
After the show I got stuck in a car park for an hour, in one of Britians' finest cities! I lit a cigarette and figured how to escape the jam and join the traffic flow. With "Razzle Dazzle" still circumnavigating my brain I dropped a gear and moonwalked home!