On Monday evening, I went down to the Cambridge Theatre to see Chicago the Musical, currently playing in its 13th year in London.
I’m rather well acquainted with Chicago, having seen it a handful of times before, and of course, there is the rather marvellous film version from 2002, which managed what so many musical adaptations never seem to manage to do… to be good! 🙂
With that in mind, I do think that you have to separate the film version from your mind when going to watch this show on stage – as whilst I did enjoy the show on stage at the Cambridge, the visual aspect of the stage production does perhaps lack some of the razzle dazzle that the film version pulls off so slickly. However, with the stage space available, I felt that the production does use the space rather well, and for me, being able to see the band and having them central to the action was more important than a few nice scenery bits and pieces.
David Badella is currently appearing as Billy Flynn and is definitely a big asset for this production. I’ve been a fan of his since Jerry Springer: The Opera, and I thought that he was perfect to play Flynn!
I would also like to call out Victor Maguire for his Amos Hart – as this is normally a role that I really dislike in the show, however this time, I actually found Amos to be one of my favourite – Maguire’s skill and portrayal was bang on and accordingly, he really gave me a pleasant surprise! 🙂
As a musical, there is no doubt that Chicago is a strong one, in terms of its book and music – I defy anyone not to be sat in the theatre tapping their foot along to some of the sumptuous jazz riffs, and if you’re anything like me, you’ll spend the whole of the next day listening to the soundtrack over and over again hehe!
All in all, I had a pleasant time at Chicago, and it was nice to see that this show still seems to be pulling the crowds in, with a rather mixed demographic ranging from teenagers right the way up to older people. Whilst I would perhaps like to see a return to the staging of the days of the Adelphi, I think that this show manages to hold its own and provides an enjoyable night out for many.
I attended this show as a guest of Superbreak, who provide a great online resource – Visit London – well worth checking out for those readers who are visiting the capital 🙂