| By Jade Ali
‘Chicago’ really is just one of those musicals you must see! There’s a reason that it’s loved worldwide and there’s a reason that it’s multi-award winning. In its 22 years of taking to stages from Broadway to the West End and everything in between, it has won a Grammy, two Oliviers and six Tony Awards… and I doubt it will stop there.
Now a musical this renowned is sure to have a great score and a decent tune or two, right? Well, ‘Chicago’ not only boasts the best jazz in town but some of its biggest hits, which of course includes ‘All That Jazz’. It’s safe to say the music of this show will get you into the swing of things, the era of prohibition, crime and glamour too enticing to resist.
Now all that jazz (pardon the pun) wouldn’t be complete without jazz hands and carefully in sync dance numbers. Besides, I’m not sure anyone can listen to such numbers without feeling the urge to dance. However, this revival is not just some new jazz dance number on the block, but the original choreography by Ann Reinking that has seen this musical sashay its way to stardom through the years- and all in the style of Bob Fosse.
As much as it would be an honour and a thrill, a musical that holds such high standards has got to be daunting to approach. The love of this musical must override any anxiety about being in such an esteemed musical though as Ruthie Henshall is back for more. She has previously played both leading roles on Broadway and the West End and this time around she makes a sort of homecoming and takes on the role of Mama Morton. Perhaps she gave advice to her co-stars because they embrace their roles with as much grace as they do sass.
The cast create a strong ensemble and dazzle us with all the star-shine that you expect to come from true show business show. And just in case that didn’t leave you dazed then the star attraction that is Academy Award winner Cuba Gooding Jr, just might tip you over the edge. He’s just the cherry on top of the cake at this stage but his perfectly timed humour sure does make the role of criminal lawyer Billy Flynn.
It’s true the West End has a lot to offer, but if you’re craving a great show then get on over to ‘Chicago’. It boasts so much from its star-studded cast to its award-winning choreography and hit-filled sound score. It will ensure that your night is made up of dancing in your seat and laughter, a feel-good classic that you don’t want to miss out on.
Chicago is playing at the Phoenix Theatre through 6 October 2018. Cuba Gooding Jr is scheduled to perform through 30 June 2018. Book your Chicago tickets here.