The musical Chicago is based on the play of the same name by reporter Maurine Dallas Watkins who covered the 1924 trials of murderesses Beulah Annan and Belva Gaertner for the Chicago Tribune. Bob Fosse and Fred Ebb wrote the book. With music by John Kander and lyrics by Fred Ebb, it is a satire on corruption in the administration of criminal justice, and the concept of the ?celebrity criminal?. Set in prohibition era Chicago The Musical, the original production opened on Jun 3, 1975 and closed on Aug 27, 1977 after 936 performances. The success of Chicago The Musical group rose to greater heights when it was revived on Nov 14, 1996 and there have been 4234 performances as of Jan 14 2007.
Act 1 opens as the Overture ends. Velma Kelly is introduced as a vaudevillian who shot the other half of her sister act when she caught her husband with her sister. She belts out ?All That Jazz? as Roxie Hart's story unfolds. Nightclub regular Fred Casely is her lover and is murdered in cold-blood. Convinced that the victim was a burglar, Roxie?s husband Amos cheerfully takes the rap.
Back after the Entr'acte, Velma is bewildered at Roxie's good luck (?I know a Girl?) despite her lies (?Me and my Baby?). Her husband is proud at her pregnancy and still nobody notices him (?Mr. Cellophane?). Velma tells Billy all the tricks she's got planned for her trial (?When Velma Takes The Stand?) and despite showmanship being his forte (?Razzle Dazzle?), he passes everything on to Roxie. Roxie gets her acquittal and her fleeting celebrity is over. She now dusts herself up and joins Velma to do the sister act (?Nowadays?), performing ?Hot Honey Rag? till the entire company joins them for the grand Finale.
Roxie Hart?s character was based on Annan who was 23 when she was accused of the murder of Harry Kalstedt. It became known that she played the foxtrot record ?Hula Lou? over and over for two hours before calling her husband to say she killed a man who ?tried to make love to her?. She was found "not guilty" on May 25, 1924. Cabaret singer Gaertner made the base for Velma. Walter Law?s body Law was discovered slumped over the steering wheel of Gaertner's abandoned car on March 12, 1924 along with a bottle of gin and an automatic pistol on the floor of the car. Gaertner was acquitted on June 6, 1924.
The concert version of Chicago The Musical new york was brought directly to Broadway by Barry and Fran Weissler and it opened on November 14, 1996 and has been running successfully ever since recovering its initial costs faster than any other musical in history. Everything is fairly basic and simple about Chicago de Musical with a giant bandstand, and minimal and black costumes.
Being the eighth longest running musical ever, Chicago The Musical uk has generated much praise from audiences and critics alike as the society is more receptive to the criminal-as-celebrity theme after many real life events such as the O.J. Simpson murder case. Altogether, chicago the musical has won 7 Tonys and a Grammy. The awards include Best Musical Revival, Best Actress for Bebe Neuwirth, Best Actor for James Naughton, Best Choreography for Ann Reinking, Best Costume Design for William Ivey Long, Best Lighting Design for Ken Billington and Best Director for Walter Bobbie. Though a notorious flop in Russia, chicago the west end musical has gotten fame in many other countries like China, Spain, France, Germany, and Japan.
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