Travonte Harris, Staff Writer
Last week, lights went up on “Chicago,” the famous musical by John Kander, Fred Ebb, and Bob Fosse. The production took place at the prestigious Fox Theater. The simple set consisted of a band and a few props. The production used dancing and singing to tell its story, and the show was modernized using a little bit of current day slang.
The crowd went wild when Chicago’s flagship song, “All that Jazz” was performed. Even people who may not be into musicals could pick out some of the songs. The numbers were very well done with a lot of dancing. The play follows two murderers, Velma Kelly – played in this production by Lana Gordon – and Roxie Hart, played by Dylis Croman.
The plot starts moving when Roxie kills her lover at a nightclub. The band is used to add effect as Mrs. Hart kills her lover when he tries to walk out on her. Roxie tries to play the victim with her husband Amos, telling him that the man was a burglar.
The next number has Roxie high up on a tower as she sings about her husband played by Paul Vogt. She sings about how much she loves him but how he’s not very smart.
Amos figures out the man who died was Roxie’s lover after officials say his name. It’s not long before Roxie finds herself arrested.
The next number, “Cell Block Tango,” had a lot of crowd interaction. It’s another very recognizable number from Chicago. There are a group of mistresses. Each are murderers, and they tell their crazy stories about how they ended up in jail. The stories are so absurd that they bring out a laugh from the audience and are outright entertaining.
Mama Morton – played by Jennifer Fouché – is impressive in her performance of “When You’re Good to Mama.” She does very well vocally, and the crowd responded well. Also in this scene, Roxie meets her idol, who is very stuck up.
Another key moment was the introduction of Roxie’s future lawyer, Billy Flynn. Flynn, billed as the greatest lawyer in Roxie’s Chicago, is a millionaire and is introduced while keeping with the show’s simplicity; however, let’s just say there are flowers and dancing girls. The song, “All I Care About is Love,” is simply beautiful and well done. The Actor – played by Brent Barrett – does an amazing job.
Now Roxie’s star shines brighter than Velma’s, who in turn tries to get Roxie to change from a solo to a duet. Roxie turns her down. But then a murderess heiress takes over the headlines, making Roxie just like Velma: yesterday’s news. Roxie is determined to be a star, and she lies, telling everyone she is pregnant.
Roxie sings about Amos, claiming that he is the father. However, no one notices him, so he sings the number “Mr. Cellophane,” which is basically about nobody noticing him. This number had a lot of interaction from the audience as they tried to support the underdog.
“When Velma Takes the Stand,” was a very entertaining number as well, as Velma tries to get Billy’s attention. Billy and Roxie get into an argument, but things get real for Roxie after an inmate is executed.
Roxie is acquitted. The press leaves after something else makes headlines. Roxie’s star no longer appears to shine. The story comes full circle when Velma and Roxie become a duo. They end the show shining together.
Overall, “Chicago” at the Fox was a very good production. The whole cast put on an amazing performance and it was incredibly entertaining and brought a fresh spin to a timeless classic.