Sunday, January 27, 2008

I've been razzle dazzled


Last week I went to see Chicago: The Musical at London's Cambridge Theatre and totally loved it. It's been three days and I'm still singing the songs in my head. I loved the choreography, the costumes, the music, the singing, the atmosphere. And to think I don't even like jazz!

Chicago is the story of Roxie, a chorus girl who has murdered her lover. While in prison, she meets Velma, another murderess, and the two women try to outshine each other in the media, while fighting for the services of sleazy lawyer Billy Flynn. After several trials and tribulations, both get acquitted and team up to form a nightclub act which they hope will keep them in the public eye.

The story sounds a bit lame, even by musical standards, however the beauty of Chicago isn't in the story but the storytelling, the music and, most importantly, Bob Fosse's iconic choreography. It's a feast for the senses. Or, as a Time Out reviewer says: a biting satire on fame, capital punishment, and all that jazz, Chicago delivers its high-heeled kick on every front; as slick, sleek and sassy a West End musical as anyone could hope for.

I couldn't agree more. Sitting back, listening to the music and watching the dancers was simply a pleasure. The theatre was packed although this isn't by any stretch a new show - it's been going for more than 10 years already. Luckily, we had seats in the third row and it felt as if we could almost touch the performers. What a treat - and all for a modest £25 (35€) GILT offer.

Duncan James was the male lead and did a great job as Billy Flynn. Amra-Faye Wright was a stunning Velma, Bonnie Langford a good, solid Roxie, Paul Rider a realistic Amos and Brenda Edwards (of X-Factor fame) simply superb as prison warden Mama Morton. The whole cast were brilliant and felt comfortable in their roles. OK, I'm not a big music connoisseur, but I couldn't fault this show and would gladly watch it again with any of the same actors, particularly Amra-Faye Wright who I thought was outstanding. So good, in fact, that I just can't imagine anyone else playing Velma ever.

16 comments:

Γκρινιάρης said...

I saw Chicago in the beginning of the month! I really enjoyed it, even if jazz is not my favorite music. However the performance of the actors was very solid! I found myself singing the songs during the following days, although I have never heard them before seeing the musical!

david santos said...

Very good, Tinisie.
Jazz and piano are my favorit music.
Have a good day.

Tinsie said...

@ Gkriniaris: I've just read your review and I'm stunned by how similar it is to mine! We must have similar tastes.

Who was the male lead when you saw Chicago?

@ David Santos: Thank you. If you like jazz, you really ought to watch Chicago. It's brill!

Γκρινιάρης said...

He he, maybe!

I can't find what's its name because I think he was replacing until Duncan James started a few days after that. But his performance was more than great!

Indie said...

I would love to watch that at the theatre. How long will it be playing for?Will it still be on at the beginning of June?

Shionge said...

Wow! I've watched the movies twice but must be great to have watch the show live....you are so lucky Tinsie :D

Tinsie said...

@ Gkriniaris: Could it have been Paul Iveson or Ed White? If you watched it after 10th December, it would have been one or the other, as they're Duncan James's understudies.

@ Indie: It'll be on for another year at the very least. Plenty of time ;-)

@ Shionge: You know what, I've not watched the movie yet, but I'll make sure I do now, so I can compare the two.

Betty C. said...

Sounds fantastic! I'm a real musical fan. I've seen the film of Chicago, but not the stage version -- I imagine it's great.

On our last two trips to London, we went to Les Miz and Phantom. They were both fantastic.

Tinsie said...

It was totally awesome! Just as good as Les Mis and Phantom, although different in style. Keep it in mind for next time you're in London ;-)

Susan Mo said...

It sounds so great. I saw the movie version with Richard Gere and Renee Zellweger, but I have not seem it live.

I understand about singing the songs in your head for days after the show - I did the same thing for Les Miz!

I love seeing musicals and plays. I am very excited that we will be seeing Spamalot and The Wedding Singer in the next few months. We already saw Mamma Mia (fantastic especially if you are a disco baby like me) and White Christmas.

Tinsie said...

Same here, Susan! I loved Mamma Mia and although I've not seen Spamalot, I hope (plan) to do something about it soon :-)

The Wedding Singer, is it based on the movie? I love 80's music!

Karen said...

Saw the movie. Loved it and bought the soundtrack. Not much theater here in 'Bama, so I'm trying hard not to be jealous!

Maryam in Marrakesh said...

This sounds absolutely amazing. I would love to go to something like this!

Tinsie said...

@ Karen: To be honest, it's not as if I go that often either. This was a special occasion, prompted by a friend who was visiting from Greece and wanted to catch a show while he was in London.

@ Maryam: It was great! If you're ever in London... I highly recommend it :-)

MrsB said...

Your so lucky to get to watch chicago, I'd love to see it! It's looks amazing! I got tagged by rosie and so have tagged you, you're suppose to write 5 interesting facts about yourself! x

Tinsie said...

You ought to book tickets, MrsB! There are plenty of special offers on at the mo.

Thanks for the invite, I love memes :-)