2024 has begun with plenty of sparkle as beloved musical Chicago high kicks its way into Brisbane. Boasting a stellar cast, songs we know and love and a fabulous modern feel, this is one show you won’t want to miss. Opening Night on January 4 at the Lyric Theatre, QPAC was a who’s who of Brisbane with all dressed in their sequins and finery ready to kick up their heels.
Chicago is the longest – running musical on Broadway. Created by the musical theatre talents of John Kander, Fred Ebb and the legendary choreographer Bob Fosse, it’s no wonder Chicago has been honoured with 6 Tony Awards, 2 Olivier Awards and a Grammy.
The Brisbane audience were transported back in time to the roaring 20’s in this tale of love, greed, corruption, adultery and murder. The show tells the story of Roxie Hart, a housewife, dancer and an aspiring star married to the hapless Amos. Scorned by her lover, Roxie commits a crime of passion, like many of the inmates she is soon to meet in jail. Her nemesis in the big house is the equally ambitious, Velma Kelly with their rivalry fuelling the narrative. Chicago tells the story behind all the sensational headlines.
I was very excited to see some talented and acclaimed Australian artists as the curtain rose. Zoe Ventura (Packed to The Rafters) was mesmerising as the sultry Velma Kelly while experienced musical theatre star, Lucy Maunder nailed the high notes and high kicks as Roxie. Crowd favourite, Peter Rowsthorn (Brett in Kath and Kim) gained the sympathy of the crowd as Amos Hart. His mournful Mister Cellophane brought the tears and the awwws as he won over the audience.
A standout for me was Brisbane’s own Asabi Goodman (Matron ‘Mama’ Morton) belting out her version of When You’re Good to Mama. It was fantastic to see Anthony Warlow on stage again as lawyer, Billy Flynn. The cheeky fan dances with Warlow as the centrepiece were a huge hit with the whole appreciative audience. The ensemble cast were exceptionally talented and the dancers some of the best I’ve seen.
With a glittering score including crowd favourites Razzle Dazzle and All That Jazz this show will have you singing along and dancing on twinkle toes out of the theatre. It was a spectacular version of this well-loved show.
The production, with a pared back set, ensured the fabulous orchestra stood out. Chicago as a whole was slick, sexy and extremely entertaining. Even if you’ve seen Chicago before this version is sultry, modern and captivating. Choreography was sizzling, lighting was on point and costumes were just right and a little bit risqué with plenty of sequins and black lace.
If you are looking to start the year with a bang look no further than the musical masterpiece, Chicago. Playing in Brisbane for five weeks only Chicago is on now and will wow audiences at QPAC until February 4. The year of entertainment in Brisbane is off to a dazzling start. To miss this fabulous show would definitely be a crime.
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