BWW Review: CHICAGO at LANDESTHEATER LINZ
All that Jazz!
A five, six seven eight.....! After more than 22 years, the masterpiece from John Kander (Music), Fred Ebb ( Book and Lyrics) and the one and only Bob Fosse ( Book and Original Choreography) is still razzle dazzling people all over the world. CHICAGO is one of Broadways longest running shows in history. A must see for everyone who is visiting New York City. For those who can't make it to the Big Apple, Chicago is on the road, playing all over the world. This summer is getting even hotter in Austria as the Landestheater Linz is hosting the tour for a limited run. It is no surprise that tickets sold as fast as ice cream on a hot summer day. CHICAGO is more accurate than ever. It is all about love, violence, greed, corruption, exploitation, adultery, treachery and of course murder. It is also about fake news and the manipulation of the press. Things we all know from todays Daily News. There are Velma Kellys, Roxie Harts, numerous Billy Flynns and also poor guys like Amos Hart between us. That might be the key of success from the show. It is timeless. Describing a Fosse show to someone who hasn't seen one yet is one of the hardest things, maybe even harder than getting a ticket for the Tony Awards. His moves, his style to direct dancers on stage, to minimize movements, like a beautiful painting with many bits and pieces to explore in it.
CHICAGO has recently been played at some German Summer theatres as replica shows. All a nice entertainment with some interesting ideas but nothing can compare to the original one. There are german lyrics for the show, often rewritten but the show is far more powerful and ambiguous in it's original language.
Samantha Peo (Velma Kelly) is the one to pull the trigger. ALL THAT JAZZ might be one if not the best Opening Number ever written, with the best entrance for a Leading Lady in musical theatre. All eyes are on Velma Kelly. What a stunning moment. Peo is taking the audience on a wild Roller Coaster Ride. Apart from all the beautiful and incredibly talented people up on stage, Chicago is telling us a very important story. It is about women, strong women who are not afraid of to fight for their rights. In Chicago they gonna do it in a very amorous way. Carmen Pretorius is a charming Roxie Hart, the perfect counter part to Peo. To be honest, it felt like watching the show in New York City. The Band forced the audience to get out of their seats. Brian Schimmel (Musical Director) and his musicians pulled of the most beautiful dirty jazz you might have ever heard.
CHICAGO might be not one of these shows with loads of special effects or many costume changes, it offers you some real theatre magic. It is all up to the actors to deliver the story, to take the audience on a journey. If there is some fine music like the one John Kander has written for the show, it is hard to not fall in love with Chicago. Linz felt in love immediately, which is no surprise, because Linz is in love with theatre.
The tour is in Linz until august 4th, so rather be quick, because you have to see it there, in this beautiful theatre. If you are up for a pre show drink, check out the rooftop from Das Anton, there might be no better way to start a wonderful evening. Let's take it like Velma said."..... why don't we paint the town...."