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And all that jazz...

  • Friday, January 13 2006 @ 02:21 MST
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Chantelle\'s Ramblings Chicago in the West End I went to see the musical Chicago last night and I quite enjoyed it. In recent years, fabulous stage effects have largely dominated stage productions as well as incredible costuming that I’m sure would be the great envy of Wagner if he could see it. There’s nothing wrong with this, I like eye candy as much as the next person and all these marvellous technological advances in the world of stage usually aren’t used to cover up bad performers or weak stories. Having said that though, it was great to see a performance that was carried solely by the talent on stage.

Chicago is a show within a show and in this production the orchestra was placed right on stage rising steeply above the action on graduated risers. This gave the musicians more of a presence as well as affording them to occasionally ham it up. Depending on their union, it might also mean they’re getting more money in what’s known in the industry as “doubling” (meaning they’re being paid as musicians and actors).

The cast is small and well utilized throughout the play. Members of the chorus sporadically step out of their main function to act as bit roles within the story. Props are minimal and so are costumes (VERY minimal, in some cases) but the show keeps you involved by its energy and wit. It’s a triple threat for the actors as all are required to act, sing and dance but all did so with such proficiency that there was no question that they were all wholly qualified for their roles.

When a production plays for a long time, it has the potential to be worn out but such was the energy on stage I felt like I was attending an opening night.

Best of all, it was fun which is really why I like to go to live musicals in the first place.

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