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About the showAfter hugely successful tours worldwide, as well as celebrating its 21st anniversary on Broadway, Kander and Ebb musical Chicago returns to the London stage, playing at the Phoenix Theatre. Last seen in the West End at the Garrick Theatre in 2012, the production ran for a total of 15 years before embarking on multiple national and international tours.
Originally premiering on Broadway in 1975, Chicago only received real acclaim for its 1996 revival which was directed by Walter Bobbie and starred Bebe Neuwirth and Joel Grey. Earning six Tony Awards, including Best Musical Revival, the production transferred to the West End, where it swiped two Olivier Awards including Outstanding Musical Production.
Based on reporter Maureen Dallas Watkins’ 1926 play of the same name, which itself is based on true events, Chicago is the story of club performers turned murderesses. Set in the roaring 1920’s, against the backdrop of the gaudy nightclub scene, Roxie Hart pulls a gun on her lover.
Finding herself in Cook County Jail, alongside star Velma Kelly and other villains, Roxie must learn to act in order to literally save her life. Enlisting the help of smooth-talking lawyer Billy Flynn, the girls put on the performances of their lives to avoid Death Row.
With a thrilling score by musical veterans Kander and Ebb, whose further credits include Cabaret and The Scottsboro Boys, Chicago features a show-stopping soundtrack including numbers such as “All That Jazz”, “Funny Honey”, “When You’re Good to Mama”, “Razzle Dazzle” and “Hot Honey Rag”. The show features music by John Kander and lyrics by Fred Ebb, with a book by Ebb and Bob Fosse.
Duncan James stars as Billy Flynn, alongside theatre legend Mazz Murray as Mama Morton, musical theatre star Alexandra Burke as Roxie Hart (Chicago), Josefina Gabrielle (Merrily We Roll Along) as Velma Kelly and Paul Rider (A Woman of No Importance) as Amos Hart.
Additional casting includes Alan Richardson as Mary Sunshine, as well as Michelle Antrobus, Natalie Bennyworth, Nicola Coates, Frances Dee, Zoe Gappy, Emma Harris, Chelsea Labadini, Joanna Rennie, Abramo Ciullo, Francis Foreman, Luke Jarvis, Matt Krzan, Charles Ruhrmund, Todd Talbot, Callum Macdonald, Chris Warner Drake and Matthew Wesley.
Returning to London after a five-year absence, Chicago is the sizzling, sexy musical that is perhaps best-known for its 2002 film adaptation, starring Catherine Zeta-Jones and Renee Zellweger. The production plays at the Phoenix Theatre until 5 January 2019.
Denise Van Outen stars as Velma Hart from 24 September 2018.
Who Should See It?Fans of the musical will be thrilled that it is returning to the West End stage! Those who are well-acquainted with the film now have the chance to see it in action.
Chicago is recommended for those aged 13 and up.