Chicago The Musical Review
Review by John Murray.
"The orchestration, the glitz, and the glamour take over and transform the Edinburgh Playhouse"
What a delight it is to be back in a sold-out Edinburgh Playhouse seeing this iconic musical. The UK touring production of Chicago the Musical has arrived, and this very well-known show comes with some equally strong accolades. Six Tony Awards, two Olivier Awards and a Grammy for starters, and now becoming the longest-running American musical in West End and Broadway history. The audience has high expectations and a strong cast, and production is crucial.
For the Edinburgh dates, Darren Day plays Billy Flynn. His theatre credits include leading roles in Grease, Joseph and his Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, and Copacabana, and he is a true seasoned professional. Playing Mama Morton, we have Sinitta still looking fabulous after a lifetime on stage. Her theatre credits include Mutiny, Cats and Little Shop of Horrors. She is best known for her successful pop career with hits like Toy Boy and So Macho.
Playing Roxie Hart is Faye Brookes. She made it through to this year’s Dancing On Ice final after appearing in Coronation Street. Finally, fresh from their success in RuPaul’s Drag Race, Divina De Campo plays Mary Sunshine.
Sinitta has her fans applaud her after every song, Darren Day as Billy Flynn breezes through his numbers with professional ease, and Divina De Campo shares their operatic range with perfect pitch, earning great applause. Djalenga Scott as Velma and Faye Brookes as Roxie Hart share many great moments. A real highlight is when both performers show off their dance skills in Hot Honey Rag - they are both spectacular.
Written by John Kander and Fred Ebb, with choreography from the legendary Bob Fosse, the story begins in 1920’s Chicago where Roxie Hart murders her ‘bit on the side’ when threatened he will walk out on her. Confined to the cells, she hires the top criminal lawyer to convince everyone of her ‘innocence’ by generating sensational stories to hide her guilt.
The ten-piece band lead by MD Andrew Hilton is exceptional. A prolonged opening of All That Jazz is a pure spectacle in terms of sound and visual. The whole cast is in seductive black, the dancing explores every tap, shuffle, and acrobatic treat imaginable from an amazingly athletic ensemble with a real Razzle Dazzle. The orchestration, the glitz and the glamour take over and transform the Edinburgh Playhouse. Each signature dance move and each number is delivered to the highest quality making this a musical for every generation.