Mark and I took my Mum and Dad to the Adelphi Theatre in the The Strand yesterday afternoon to see a matinee performance of Chicago. I wasn't quite sure whether my Mum and Dad would like it. Hell, I wasn't even sure if I was going to like it either; knowing nothing about the plot or any of the songs except maybe one (well two as it turned out). I needn't have fretted though. They loved it. And so did I.
Chicago is a fantastic, energetic, sexy, well-performed and let's not forget funny piece of musical theatre. Great songs, great choreography and being so shamelessly show bis, it does what it says on the tin. Not that there wasn't some degree of post-modern winking for the sceptics too.
All That Jazz starts the show off in great style but despite the feeling that you've seen it all before - the energetic dancing, the black sexy tight-fitting clothes, the spread finger style, the bowler hats, the tableaux posing - it is just done so well. Within minutes everyone in the audience was smiling and clapping and singing to themselves or in some cases way out loud! We just knew from that moment on we were going to be in for a great show.
Now I'll not give away the story in case you've not seen it and might want to go yourself so suffice to say that despite the veneer it's a 'strong women' plot centring around two women taking control of their lives despite their rather dire predicament. Their competition for fame and fortune was at times funny and at times sad. But the master stroke of the production was the way the plot was allowed to develop through the music and lyrics rather than just the dialog. Each song progressed the story line rather than just being incidental. There were no "at this juncture she sings a pointless love song". There was no time to get bored. The pulsating rhythm of the narrative caught you up in it's current and dragged you along from each all-singing all-dancing number to the next. Pure class with a fantastic ending to boot.
After the show was over we went for coffee and spent over half an hour gushing about how good the show had been and how much we had all enjoyed it.
So our joint verdict: go see, go see, go see.