“Chicago” is the story of two women's struggle for fame and freedom, tainted with murderous crimes and clever strategies to steal the limelight. Keeping the audience on their toes through the length of the play, Chicago is one of the longest running Broadway shows. Another sensational truth about “Chicago” is that it is based on a play from 1926, which in turn was made about real life criminals. So, beneath the acting skills and script writing expertise there is a shadow of reality which makes the play all the more forbidding yet interesting.
Based on the incident which made headlines in Chicago Tribune in the twenties, the musical brings forth an element of danger and adventure. It is a satire that revolves around the theme of greed, deceit, adultery and violence. The show has been described by Time Magazine in the following words ‘‘Chicago is a triumph! It doesn't just give us the old razzle-dazzle; it glows.''
Two Shades of Grey and the Black Lining
One part of the story is about Roxie Hart, an ambitious chorus girl who kills her lover because he tries to walk out on her. She convinces her credulous husband, Amos, that she actually killed a burglar. It is when police proves to Amos that the burglar was indeed Roxie's lover that she is sent to jail. There she meets Velma Kelly.
Velma Kelly is the other half of the story, a stage performer with double the blood on her hands. Kelly killed her husband and her sister when she finds them together in bed. Both the murderesses express their satisfaction at being able to take revenge.
The passion and emotions expressed by these exceptional Broadway actors through their voices is absolutely enthralling. It absorbs the audience attention completely. With beautiful melodies they decipher the mystery step by step to reach the climax.
The New York Times described the play as “A Lively Legacy, A Come-Hither Air”. The Broadway actors with their polished acting and vocal skills mesmerize their audiences. Over the years, several actors have taken up the roles of the protagonists in the musical and none of them have disappointed their audiences. The vibrant appearances of the actors combined with energetic performances make it a lively spectacle. Gasps, sighs and awe-inspiring reactions are not uncommon when Chicago is watched by theater lovers.
Chicago has been played worldwide in a number of countries which includes England, Austria, Scotland, Germany, The Netherlands, Switzerland, Italy, Russia, China, Greece, Argentina, Brazil, Portugal, Singapore, United Arab Emirates and many more.
Chicago has a very versatile star cast. The stars that have graced Chicago include some huge names of the theatre and film world. Joel Grey, Bebe Neuwirth, Sharon Lawrence, Sandy Duncan, Wayne Brady, Nana Visitor, John O'Hurley and Usher are just a few of them.
Awards to its Name
Chicago has quite a collection of awards proclaiming its splendor as a brilliant production. It was awarded six Tony Awards and five Drama Desk Awards only in a single year, that was in 1997. In addition to this, it received Grammy Award in 1998. Several other critics awards spread across the years received by the musical are themselves testimony to the fact that Chicago is indeed one of the extraordinary works produced by the Broadway. The musical has also won an Olivier Award for Best Musical Production, as well as an Elliott Norton Award for the Broadway and National Touring Companies.