REVIEW Chicago The Musical, New Alexandra Theatre

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Oozing sass, seduction, effortless glamour and heartless crimes, Chicago The Musical is everything you expect from musical theatre – and more.

On a cold and rather drizzly winter’s night I needed some heat, some spice; something that would take me from the streets of Birmingham and warm me up.

Ravishing and, in some instances rather raunchy, Chicago was the warmth to my Monday night.

Having never seen the production before I didn’t quite know what to expect. I’d heard numerous people rave about it, but I wanted to get a taste of what this dazzling musical had to offer me for myself.

Within 15 minutes of the curtains raising, I was left blown away by the sheer talent of the cast. Not to mention the added glamour that flowed off the stage straight into the now thoroughly warmed-up crowd, especially after a sizzling performance of the well-known number All That Jazz.

If like myself you’re unaware of the wild and wonderful story of Chicago, let me give you the low-down.

After a saucy affair with Fred Casely sees the glamorous Roxie Hart, played by Emmerdale’s Hayley Tamaddon, kill her lover in cold blooded murder, we’re sucked into the world of Chicago.

Photo: Catherine Ashmore
Photo: Catherine Ashmore

Roxie ends up in an all women’s prison, where she meets a number of fellow inmates who have also killed their lovers – queue the dark humour-filled Cell Block Tango – alongside the powerful Matron ‘Mamma’ Morton, played by Mica Paris, who’s voice most certainly packed a punch, and fellow murderess Velma Kelly, played spectacularly by Sophie Carmen-Jones.

Roxie’s get out card is lawyer Billy Flynn, portrayed by West End star and former Eastenders actor, John Partridge.

The shining star throughout the production, the audience were putty in Patridge’s hand throughout the show. With showstopping vocals, a silky American accent and effortless style, it came as no surprise to me how quickly Partridge captivated the audience.

I can’t wrap up my thoughts on Chicago without mentioning the spectacular supporting cast. AD Richardson won the crowd over with ease and humour as Mary Sunshine, and conductor/compare Leon Charles got his fair share of entertaining lines and laughs from the audience.

Razzled and dazzled, Chicago left me wanting more. I’ve had a taste of what this outstanding and memorable show has to offer, and I recommend you go see it too.

Chicago The Musical runs at the New Alexandra Theatre until New Year’s Eve.

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