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Review: Chicago

  • by Liz Coggins
 

Grand Opera House, York

It’s stylish, sexy and sassy and back again touring the UK, and like its hit song there’s something about Chicago that never fails to razzle dazzle its audience.

Yet in this particular production it’s the ensemble of 13 talented young singers and dancers, that give the show its amazing energy, style and quality.

The story revolves around unscrupulous show girl Roxie Hart, in prison for murdering her lover after trying to pin it on her weak yet devoted husband Amos. In prison she meets vaudeville star Velma Kelly, also a murderess. Both women face hanging for their crimes if they lose their cases and will go to any lengths to stop this happening. So both enlist the help of sleazy lawyer Billy Flynn.

Soon Velma is thwarted and finds she isn’t top dog anymore as Roxie uses all her prowess with the media to get the attention that will get her off the murder charge.

As Roxie Hart, former Hollyoaks actress and Strictly Come Dancing semi finalist, Ali Bastian handles a difficult role quite well. Whilst Tupele Dorgu, best known for her role as Kelly Crabtree in Coronation Street, gives Velma a glamorous and feisty persona but neither are powerful enough to reach the heights in character, vocals and dance that one has come to expect of these roles.

However as Billy Flynn, the lawyer who uses all the panache and glitz of showmanship to win the media over, Stefan Booth is convincing, so much so he could have just stepped out of a 20’s black and white movie.

Outstanding performances also come from Jamie Baughan as the pathetic, downtrodden husband Amos who you have to feel sorry for and Alex Weatherhill as columnist Mary Sunshine. It’s only when all is revealed that you realise what an amazing voice this character really has.

On view all the time and taking up half the stage, Musical Director, Adrian Kirk and his orchestra become an integral part of the proceedings and prove themselves to be more than just versatile musicians in every sense of the word.

With its score of memorable hit songs, this production of Chicago is pure escapism and one that is guaranteed to Razzle Dazzle you.

To April 21.

 

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