Review: Chicago, starring Charlotte D'Amboise and Terra C. MacLeod
Chicago has become a staple of Broadway theater, and will celebrate 22 years on the Great White Way in November. It has surpassed the original production greatly, which ran for about two years at the 46th Street Theater (now the Richard Rodgers Theatre). The revival originally opened at the same theater before moving to the Shubert Theatre, and eventually to the Ambassador Theatre, where is has been playing since 2002.
The revival of Chicago came about through a presentation at New York City Center's Encores series in the spring of 1996. After that run there was buzz about it moving to Broadway, and sure enough it did. With choreography done in the style of Bob Fosse, who choreographed the original production, simplistic yet sleek black costuming, along with practically no set, other than the orchestra that resembles a jury box, and chairs for the actors, the simplistic style works incredibly well and allows the audience to focus on the music and actors.
Loosely based on real people, Chicago tells the story of Velma Kelly and Roxie Hart, both in jail for murder and trying to get out. Both have lawyer Billy Flynn behind them, who has a perfect track record at getting mostly murderous wives and lovers out of jail. When Roxie arrives, Velma is no longer the "big thing", and eventually Roxie feels the same pain, both coming up with creative ways to try and get Billy to focus on their case.
Roxie and Velma are played by Charlotte D'Amboise and Terra C. MacLeod, respectively, both veterans of the show and they lead the show beautifully. While over two decades old, Chicago holds its own against the new shows on Broadway. The music is catchy and despite the minimalistic elements you find yourself unable to look away from what is going on onstage - a testament to great theater.