I was just getting in to musical theatre when the revival of Chicago opened on Broadway (and it's still running today, 20+ years later). I played that CD for hours, not knowing at the time that singing along in my room or car was the closest I would ever get to being in the actual show. I am sadly not a dancer (except in musical improv where I am an incredible dancer) and therefore, this is a show I can never be in. Well, until I am Mama Morton type. And yeah, that'll be FINE, but I'm not looking forward to it.
I would LOVE to play Roxie. I would be so good as Roxie (if I could dance it). I would also be so good at Velma (if I could dance it). If I could dance it, I would be so good as ANY of the "Cellblock Tango" girls.
Sigh. Oh, well. But, look: Chris and I have to move and buy a car soon, so you can catch one of my performances there. I also performed the shit out of "All That Jazz" in my bathroom recently.
I had the revival cast recording growing up, which is great, as is the original cast recording (and I can't BELIEVE the original didn't do better. Stupid audiences of the 70s not knowing what was good). Chita Rivera, who as you know by now, is a GIFT, is the best Velma ever (even though Bebe Neuwirth gives a solid, A+ performance -- Chita is just a better singer). With Roxie, the verdict is more split: Ann Reinking is a better singer, but god almighty, that monologue before the song "Roxie" is delivered with perfection by Gwen Verdon. I like both Jerry Orbach and James Naughton as Billy Flynn. Joel Grey, in my opinion, is the better Amos.
I love so much about Chicago. The music, obviously, is great. The choreography, by the master, Bob Fosse, is great. The book and story are funny and dark (but not TOO dark), and there's no message*, which is GREAT. I tend to like things with a message more, but when you've got a show as good as Chicago, who the F cares?
Music by John Kander
Lyrics by Fred Ebb
Book by Fred Ebb and Bob Fosse
To see the brilliance of every part of Chicago in one scene, watch this clip from the revival.
*Ok, there's a little bit of a message (you know, about the media and making a show out of people's lives, lawyers who spin things, etc)