CHICAGO THE MUSICAL - LONDON

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Sultry, sexy and smoky. That's how I would describe it in three short and very sweet words.

I think not being aware of a musical's story line is sometimes the best way and this is exactly what happened when I popped along to the watch Chicago at The Phoenix Theatre in London one evening recently. I was super excited and upon seeing the lights and posters of beautiful Chicago-esque women outside of the theatre, my excitement grew even more.


The show has been in the eye recently due to its star appearance of Academy award winning, Cuba Gooding Jr. who I absolutely love in one of my favourite childhood films, Snow Dogs - so, I was super happy to get the chance to see him on stage.

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In brief...
Roxie Hart (played by Sarah Soetaert) is a flirtatious minx, who is married to a boring and plump mechanic. She wants excitement and something new in her life. So, instead of taking up a hobby, she decides to have an affair with the man who's put together the furniture in the house.

She ends up killing the poor lad and admits to the world what she has done; not realising it's landed her in the Cook County Jail - whilst also being summoned for death and closely watched by the tough old cookie, Mama Morton (played by Ruthie Henshall). The story delves even deeper, by sharing devilish stories from other newly single mixes. They have all killed their husbands and bits on the side.

Inspired by big name Velma Kelly (played by Josefina Gabrielle), Roxie Hart wants to become a big star just like her one day. Little does she know, Velma is famous for all of the wrong reasons. Most famously, she's known as the woman who killed her husband for having several affairs. Roxie realises that the only way to make Velma a thing of the past is by becoming the next best thing in shining lights. She wants her name on the front of every newspaper front page. She NEEDS to put Velma to bed.

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Roxie manages to sweet talk her love sick husband into hiring America's best lawyer, Billy Flynn, to represent her in court. However, with big news that puts a spanner in the works; how long will her new found fame last?

Velma Kelly meanwhile, hears the news and decides she needs to step up her game in order to win her famous title back, but Roxie will not go down without a fight.

Will Roxie be let off for her crime or slung into jail? Will her husband manage to save her or want divorce for what she's done? Will Velma ever find her fame again? You'll have to book a seat to find out!

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Chicago has a whole bunch of tongue in cheek and sexual innuendos running throughout here and there. However, nothing that wouldn't not go over a younger viewer's head. The whole cast really interacted with the audience and made us laugh and applaud throughout.

With stunning costumes dripping in sequins, beads and glitter, it was nice to see that everybody in the cast of Chicago was wearing something different, but in the same colour theme of black. The girls wore very short dresses, glittery shoes and 1920 flapper girl style kimonos. The men wore very see-through black shirts, fitted trousers with belts, jazz shoes and black hats.

I loved Chicago's style of telling a story but breaking out with song and dance throughout. Learning the store of Roxie Hart and Velma Kelly made me really connect to the characters and understand what was happening. It made it easy to work out what was going on and thus, I didn't feel lost at any point during the 2.5hr show.

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Cuba Gooding Jr. is just as comical as you would expect and has that typical natural American humour. The exact kind that most British people have to just act out. Admittedly, he doesn't have the greatest vocals and it seemed he was often straining his voice. However, with this humour and general presence, he warmed to the audience very quickly and even broke into dance at times too. It's safe to say that his dancing skills are a little stronger than his vocals. I would go as far to say that if you're rushing to book tickets to see Cuba Gooding Jr, I wouldn't bother exactly rushing... unless of course, you're a die hard fan or somebody who won't be judging vocal skills too much.

Chicago was all in all, quite bloody brilliant and I would fully recommend going to see it if you're looking for a new show to watch in London.

Disclaimer: I was kindly invited along to review the show by London Box Office. All words and opinions are my own. 

10 comments

  1. Ahh I've seen Chicago the musical before, I absolutely LOVED it!

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  2. So glad that you could attend and review it. I’ve got a little one to take care of, and I’m sure kids won’t be allowed there. Do you have any information?

    Fatima

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  3. I am such a big fan of the Chicago soundtrack - we listen to it in the car while driving! Do they use all the original songs from the film? I'd LOVE to see it live :)

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  4. Not seen Chicago yet! looks so fab and would make for an amazing evening out too x

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  5. Chicago is one of my favourites, the music is soooo good!

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  6. I saw this show years ago and we loved it. I can’t remember who played the lead roles now. I like you would highly recommend watching show x

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  7. I absolutely love West End shows and I bet Chicago was fabulous, it really is a steamy show. Mich x

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  8. I’ve seen this musical quite a few times over the years and it is such a classic! How awesome to see it in London though! Xxx

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  9. Chicago is probably my favourite musical and I'd happily go to watch this production. It looks fab.

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  10. Amazing review! I want to see Chicago!

    Chichi
    chichiwrites.com

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