Following critically acclaimed seasons in Sydney and Brisbane, the multi-award winning, record breaking musical Chicago is set to razzle-dazzle the State Theatre – Arts Centre Melbourne when it officially opens this week.
Set amidst the decadence of the 1920s, Chicago is the story of Roxie Hart, a housewife and nightclub dancer who murders her on-the-side lover after he threatens to walk out on her. Desperate to avoid conviction, she dupes the public, the media and her rival cellmate, Velma Kelly, by hiring Chicago’s slickest criminal lawyer Billy Flynn to transform her malicious crime into a barrage of sensational headlines, the likes of which might just as easily be ripped from today’s tabloids.
Produced in Australia by John Frost and Suzanne Jones, the sassy musical features some of Australia’s most talented performers. Starring as the irreverent and determined Roxie Hart, is one of our most versatile entertainers, Natalie Bassingthwaighte and joining her as the empowered and glamorous Velma Kelly is musical theatre star Alinta Chidzey.
Playing the role of the cunning and charismatic lawyer Billy Flynn will be Australian superstar Jason Donovan, while much adored Casey Donovan plays the tough and sassy prison warden Matron ‘Mama’ Morton. Starring alongside this star studded cast is musical theatre stalwart Rodney Dobson playing Roxie’s charming and vulnerable husband Amos Hart and J. Furtado as gossip hound Mary Sunshine.
The stellar ensemble cast includes Amy Berrisford, Andrew Cook, Todd Dewberry, Samantha Dodemaide, Mitchell Fistrovic, Ben Gillespie, Chaska Halliday, Travis Khan, Hayley Martin, Kristina McNamara, Joe Meldrum, Tom New, Jessica Vellucci, Romina Villafranca, Rachael Ward, Zachary Webster and Mitchell Woodcock.
Based on the 1926 play by Maurine Dallas Watkins, Chicago has a legendary book by Fred Ebb and Bob Fosse, music by John Kander and lyrics by Fred Ebb. Its sexy, sassy score features one show-stopping song after another including All That Jazz, Cell Block Tango, When You’re Good to Mama, All I Care About, Mr. Cellophane, Razzle Dazzle, Class and Nowadays.
The 1996 Broadway revival of Chicago is choreographed by Tony Award winning Ann Reinking in the style of Bob Fosse and is directed by Tony Award winner Walter Bobbie. It features set design by John Lee Beatty, costume design by William Ivey Long, lighting design by Tony Award winner Ken Billington, and sound design by Scott Lehrer.
The Kander & Ebb musical has been seen by over 31 million people worldwide in 36 countries and is the winner of six Tony Awards, two Olivier Awards and a Grammy Award. Chicago continues to play on Broadway and around the world in multiple languages and is the longest running American musical in Broadway and West End history.
Whether you’re looking for your first Broadway musical, whether you’ve seen the Academy Award-winning film and want to experience the show live on stage, whether you’ve seen it before and want to recapture the magic or whether you are after a perfect night of pure entertainment, Chicago always delivers.
“Meticulously rehearsed within an inch of its life, every finger snap, every hip placement, every head turn is exactly where it should be. Fosse’s brilliant use of the human body for his ridiculously inventive choreography is here exposed to be admired and marvelled over.” – Bill Stephens OAM / Australian Arts Review
Chicago the Musical
State Theatre – Arts Centre Melbourne, 100 St Kilda Road, Melbourne
Season: 19 December 2019 – 23 February 2020
For more information, visit: www.chicagothemusical.com.au for details.
Image: The Australian Cast of Chicago the Musical – photo by Jeff Busby