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REVIEW: Chicago at The Lyceum

Legs, laughs and liquor: A flawless portrayal of a saucy classic.

Words by Lizzy Capps

Full of jazz and scandal, Chicago is my all-time favourite musical, so I took my seat with high expectations. I was definitely not disappointed. It was sexy, slick and at times had me laughing out loud and I couldn’t have asked for a better way to spend my evening.

Chicago

Djalenga Scott ‘Velma Kelly’ and Faye Brookes ‘Roxie Hart’. Photo Tristram Kenton

Faye Brookes and Djalenga Scott tell the story of Roxie Hart and Velma Kelly as they try to win over the city of Chicago, shimmying their way from Murderess Row to newspaper headlines with the help of the lawyer and renowned sweet-talker Billy Flynn, played by Lee Mead.

Each cast member, even down to the ‘six merry murderesses of the Cook County Jail’, put their own spin on their characters making it a refreshing take on the show. I was particularly impressed by Faye Brookes (Roxie) who owned the stage with her spectacular voice and energy.

Chicago

Faye Brookes ‘Roxie Hart’. Photo Tristram Kenton

No element of the show took a back seat, your eyes were constantly drawn to something new on the stage. Rather than the band playing in the pit they were in full view on tiers at the back of the stage, so each musician had their own platform. What’s more, the second act began with the band’s rendition of All That Jazz in which there each band member got to enjoy their moment in the sun. By the end of the number every musician was on their feet and had the whole room clapping and cheering.

Using a hefty chunk of the original choreography, the dance numbers were tailored to the stage perfectly. From slow, contained Fosse moves to bouncy Charleston routines, it was a performance that would have made Bob Fosse himself proud.

Chicago

Djalenga Scott ‘Velma Kelly’ and The Company. Photo Tristram Kenton

Although it was a clean and slick demonstration of music and dance the directors added heaps of comedy often leaving the audience in stitches. From reporter Mary Sunshine’s shrill singing voice to Roxie’s childish and immature approach to winning her court case, there were plenty of opportunity for a good knee slap.

It was an interpretation of the show, different enough to wonder whether they would even stick to the storyline. With a nod to the original and a twist that actually made me gasp out loud, I was thoroughly entertained from beginning to end.

Chicago runs until Saturday 9 July and tickets are available here.




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