CHICAGO Has All That Jazz
Everybody knows the music and now, Chicago has finally come to Brisbane and is not only razzling but also dazzling QPAC's Lyric Theatre's stage.
Chicago has never been about the story. It's always been about the music. The sounds Daniel Edmonds and his band creates are raunchy, smooth and quite frankly, all about that jazz. Walter Bobbie's direction was incredibly innovative and clever and complimented the ambience of the musical perfectly. Bobbie's decision to have the band immersed amongst John Lee Beatty's striking set design not only intertwined the band members as character's in the story but made us feel like we were at a jazz bar and each song was the next cabaret singer coming up to take a stand. Ann Reinking's Bob Fosse style choreography has to be one of the best, if not the best, choreography I've seen in any touring show in Brisbane. If only I had the dance terminology to describe the sheer brilliance of each movement and how much it complemented the music. And of course, the ensemble was an absolute dream to watch and made me really wish that I'd continued with ballet...
Now to the casting. Natalie Bassingthwaighte was everything Roxie heart; self-centered, immature and un-relentless in her search of fame and glory. Alinta Chidzey's Velma is sultry and sarcastic and both dance the style of fosse sublime, sexy and sassy. Tom Burlinson stole hearts, and manipulated many minds in the courtroom, as sauve Billy Flynn and Casey Donovan was commanding as Mamma Norton, whose voice was the perfect balance of raunchy and sultry. Rodney Dobson's Amos had the heart of gold and his Mr Cellophane was exceptional and such a crowd pleasure. But the real the scene stealer was the ensemble member played Fred Casley, but he was the real star of the show. He had such tremendous stage presence and his movements were filled with such a profound level of enthusiasm and energy that your eyes couldn't help but linger on only him whenever he was on stage.
The production is filled with sex, booze and most importantly, jazz. If only I could see it again.
Rating: 4.5 Stars