BWW Reviews: CHICAGO Slays Audiences at the Morrison Center
Hips. Shoulders. Wrists. And Hats. Chicago is everything essentially Fosse. When you come to see Chicago, do not expect spectacle, it's just not that kind of Broadway show.
When you enter the theatre, there is a gilted frame and a spotlight on a chair off to the side with a hat sitting on it at a cocky angle. This helped to set how the show was going to go. Once the show started, the set was defined by the band with room in front to tell the story of Roxie Hart and Velma Kelly. There is not a bit of color on the set or costumes aside from black and white and of course glitz and glitter.
Terra C MacLeod features in the opening number "All that Jazz" as Velma Kelly. We find out after the song that she shot her sister and husband. During the song, we are also introduced to Roxie Hart played by Paige Davis in a torrid affair that ends in her shooting her lover because he was going to leave her.
The next person we meet is Matron "Mama" Morton performed by Carol Woods. "Mama" is the warden of the prison where Velma and Roxie are being kept. We meet a selection of the women in the prison and the troubles that they are having.
In this patriarchal society we see the struggles of innocence and guilt and how in Chicago at the time, it didn't seem to matter. The show takes us through a time when the push back from the fight for women's rights also brought about the first female death sentence carried out by the Cook County Courthouse.
If you love dance and music, this is the show for you. The choreography is chock-full of all the great moves that Bob Fosse was known for: hips, shoulders, wrists, and hats. The original choreographer Ann Reinking and the recreation choreography by David Bushman do a great job of representing Fosse. The costume design by William Ivey Long will help teenaged boys love theatre and he has added something for the moms too.
This production is not about the spectacle, it is about the dance and the music. It is a great show to go see; just do not compare it to the movie, this is definitely a separate beast that has been the longest running American musical in Broadway history.
The show runs at the Morrison Center for Fine Arts continuing tonight at 8 and tomorrow, Sunday September 15, 2013 at 1 & 6:30pm. For tickets or information visit http://mc.boisestate.edu/bib.html
Photo Credit: taken by Len Prince
Featuring Paige Davis