Previewed 28 Oct 1997, Opened 18 Nov 1997, Closed 22 April 2006 at the Adelphi Theatre
Transferred 28 April 2006, Closed 27 August 2011 at the Cambridge Theatre
Transferred 7 November 2011, Closed 1 September 2012 at the Garrick Theatre
The long-running, award-winning revival of the Kander and Ebb musical Chicago in London - now in its amazing 14th year!
Welcome. Ladies and Gentlemen, you are about to see a story of murder, greed, corruption, violence, exploitation, adultery, and treachery - all those things we all hold near and dear to our hearts. Thank you - So begins Chicago The Musical.... and creators John Kander, Fred Ebb and Bob Fosse never back off from their bold and sinister promise. The kiss-and-tell tale of Roxie Hart, a nightclub dancer who kills her lover; Velma Kelly the glamorous double-murderess vying to keep her press supremacy; and Billy Flynn, the slick lawyer who has the power to keep them from death row and make them in to stars.
Following a sensational 8½ year run at The Adelphi Theatre, Chicago the Musical firstly transferred to The Cambridge Theatre from 28 April 2006 for a 5½ year run before moving again, this time to the Garrick Theatre from 7 November 2011!
"This ravishing song and dance comedy about two young American women in 1929 getting away with murder, thanks to a lawyer so bent he can barely look anyone straight in the eye, is 22 years old. But how freshly its authors, John Kander and Fred Ebb capture a mood of Nineties cynicism about the way the world works - or doesn't. How timely its witty view of the American legal system as 'just the serious side of show business', with murder marketed as entertainment... Walter Bobbie's delectable production, all stylised elegance and energy, does not bother with the usual sumptuous clutter and computerised wonders of modern musicals. He has no need of such distractions. The terrific band is situated centre-stage in a tiered jury box. Beyond them lie bare, murky spaces, lit by spotlights which convey the prison and court-room worlds... Again and again Kander's terrific songs take up the catchy old period forms of tango, rag and tap, with characters who hypocritically lay claim to the traditional musical's love of nostalgia, sentiment and kindness." The London Evening Standard
"Twenty years after its premiere, this little dark jewel of a musical by the Cabaret team of John Kander and Fred Ebb, was reworked and streamlined on Broadway in this ideal concert format... In a most uncanny way, this relaunched Chicago expresses the contemporary disaffection with justice as a three-ring circus, guilt as a mark of celebrity, and the easy approval we all give to people who've made it by getting away with murder. For all that jazz, the show works in a visceral, seductive way, number by great number: the tango for the sexy murderesses; the brilliant ventriloquist song for Billy Flynn with Roxie on his knee; the duet for Velma and the bulldog matron lamenting the death of true class. Girls in black fishnets, silk and satin, thrust their pelvic gyrations in the face of respectability and contemptible men, those dirty rats. We can take it. For the girls, the show also says, can only survive by killing us (not always) softly with their love." The Daily Mail
"Even if Chicago is not quite as tough as it pretends, it boasts a wealth of good tunes and presents murder as if it were a vaudevillian spectacle - a point avidly seized on in this production, where the band is centre stage, the cast watch the action on surrounding chairs and the numbers are introduced as if they were separate turns. Bobbie's production highlights the story's self-conscious theatricality. But what gives it real distinction is Ann Reinking's choreography 'in the style of Bob Fosse'. All the Fosse elements are there: the tip-tilted bowler hats, the emphasis on crotch and bottom, the floor-level glides and slides, the truck driver sexuality. Reinking has taken Fosse's key ingredients and turned them into a dish of her own devising... This is a highly skilled Broadway import. And one can point to numerous excellent details - the shock when a rope crashes to the ground, reminding us that a Hungarian suspect, vainly protesting her innocence, has actually been hanged; or the false glitter of 'Razzle Dazzle', suggesting that American life is a series of illusions, which ends with the audience momentarily blinded by a descending lighting-bar." The Guardian
Chicago the Musical in London at the Adelphi Theatre previewed from 28 October 1997, opened on 18 November 1997 and closed on 22 April 2006. The production then transferred to the Cambridge Theatre from 28 April 2006 to 27 August 2011. The production then returned to London at the Garrick Theatre from 7 November 2011 to 1 September 2012.