If you’ve ever seen Chicago (movie or musical), you know about all of the over-the-top characters, the impressive choreography, and the jazzy musical numbers. The show started out on Broadway as a hit musical before the movie came out in 2002, winning six Oscars including Best Picture. The movie is indeed impressive and entertaining, with stars like Renee Zellweger, Catharine Zeta-Jones, Richard Gere, and Queen Latifah, so it is not hard to imagine that the musical would have trouble standing up to the glory of Hollywood. When I saw the musical recently at the Paramount Theatre, I was disappointed at the lack of costumes and sets – the entire cast wore black (with the addition of lots of fishnet stockings), and besides the elaborate bandstand on stage, there was no set and only limited props. Also, I think I would have had trouble understanding the plot if I had not seen the movie beforehand; there was little explanation between musical numbers.
However, despite these shortcomings, it was hard not to enjoy Chicago. The music is of course the main feature – the band was amazing, and the singers easily matched their counterparts in the movie version. The actress in the role of Matron “Mama” Morton was especially good – her performance of “When You’re Good to Mama” sent shivers down my spine. An interesting difference between the movie and musical was the use of humor; while the movie is full of drama and passion, the musical seemed more satirical. There were many funny moments, especially during the courtroom scene, which nicely set it apart from the movie. All in all, the movie is hard to beat, but the musical that started it all is definitely worth watching.
Review by , teen blogger