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The Creative Issue – News for Creatives | June 20, 2021

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Chicago Brings the Razzle Dazzle to Brisbane

Chicago Brings the Razzle Dazzle to Brisbane
Madi Paulsen

A tale of sly sinners and malevolent murderesses, Chicago certainly knows how to wrap up some devilishly charming characters into one glamorous package.

If you happen to class yourself as someone with a strong moral compass, it’s time to throw it away as this classic, cabaret-style musical may have you unwittingly falling for this slick band of criminals. Backed by an all-star cast and an obscenely talented company, this glittery musical brings the allure of Jazz-Age Chicago to life.

Alinta Chidzey stars as Velma Kelly, one of the magnetising criminals you may come to love. Alinta’s convincing portrayal of the Cook County Jail head honcho makes for an engaging and impressive performance. Her gritty yet sultry vocal draws the audience in while her outstanding dancing and physical embodiment of Velma leaves nothing to the imagination.

Chicago’s newest celebrity criminal, Roxie Hart, is played by the compelling Natalie Bassingthwaighte who knows how to get the audience on her side. Her cheeky and vivacious depiction of Roxie complements Alinta’s headstrong and determined Velma, as they make this vaudevillian satire about volatility of ‘celebrity’ one that resonates even more so now than when it was written.

The warm yet powerful role of Cook County Jail’s mama bear, Matron ‘Mama’ Morton, is played by the beloved Casey Donovan who knocks the powerhouse tune ‘When You’re Good to Mama’ out of the park.

This raunchy, tantalising production brings the legendary Kander and Ebb music front and center. Arranged in steep, tiered rows, the orchestra is essentially the entire set, taking up the majority of upstage in a monolithic fashion. It allows the orchestra to become an integral part of the show through not just the music itself, but by also being involved with the story line as the cast bounce off and involve the musicians throughout.

Chicago is an exciting change of pace that takes the audience back to a time of jazz and cabaret; booze and debauchery; glitz and glamour. It is a spectacularly enthralling performance of “unrelenting determination and unmitigated ego” as musical director Daniel Edmonds narrates before the number ‘My Own Best Friend’.

If it’s razzle dazzle you want, it’s razzle dazzle you’ll get from this extravagant, dangerous and wicked production.

What: Chicago: The Musical
When: From 2 November
Where: Lyric Theatre, Queensland Performing Arts Centre
Cost: Starts from $59.90

Purchase your tickets here before they run out.

Images courtesy of Jeff Busby