MUSICAL REVIEW: Chicago ★★★
New Alexandra Theatre, Birmingham
23rd December 2016
Based on the 1926 play of the same name, Chicago is most famous for it's sensual sequences and strong female characters that is so brilliant perceived in the 2002 musical film, and holds the record for the longest running musical in Broadway history, and after tonight's performance in Birmingham starring Hayley Tamaddon as lead Roxie Hart, I can really see the appeal to this musical and why it is loved by so many.
I can't pinpoint one moment where this entire ensemble failed to keep me entertained in this incredibly slick production that kept a smile on my face and feet tapping throughout, and for someone who hasn't heard the soundtrack as much as others, I was pleasantly surprised about how many of the songs I actually knew or astounded that they were related to the musical.
Hayley Tamaddon I personally thought was phenomenal as Roxie Hart and really drew myself into the action as I watched her own the stage with the equally exquisite Sophie Carmen-Jones fighting the stage presence with all good fun and control as Velma Kelly. As Chicago is so heavy on the music front, and all in good measure as the songs are basically the storyline if you were listening to the soundtrack, it is no surprise now to me the artistic choice to have the orchestra right on stage in midst of all the action. It was actually at times during this performance that I couldn't take my eyes off the orchestra as they put so much energy into the score and I could really see that they were having incredible fun playing for the audience this evening.
The performances on stage were also pretty showstopping, with some incredible talent from all involved, especially from Mica Paris as Mama Morton, who really owned the stage whenever she was on absolutely captivating everyone in the audience. John Partridge was also amazing as Lawyer Billy Flynn, and at times made me really hate him for his actions and comments, really proving how incredibly diverse he is as an actor.
Overall, Chicago was one of the most captivating musicals I have seen in a long while with the music which was the real star of the show, and it was only heightened by show an incredible cast that did the whole production justice, making Chicago an absolutely fantastic night out in the theatre!