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Musicals

My Broadway Review System:

Plays take me away from reality, so my measurement system for reviews is for how many levels of reality do I escape. People go to plays to escape the reality of their lives. Here are my levels on how I rate a play:

1 Escape: It will help you forget a weird haircut :)
2 Escapes: It will help you forget that you don’t have hot water :)
3 Escapes: It will help you forget you missed your subway stop :)
4 Escapes: It will help you forget that your dog pooped on the rug :)
5 Escapes: It will help you forget your break up with your girlfriend :)
6 Escapes: It will help you forget work :)
7 Escapes: It will help you forget your body weight :)
8 Escapes: It will help you forget your family problems :)
9 Escapes: It will help you forget the last play you saw was really awful :)
10 Escapes: It will help you forget that you will die someday :)

 

Chicago

Thomas Ellenson

Last week I saw the long-running hit revival "Chicago" on Broadway. The show recently celebrated a milestone 20th anniversary. The classic musical is the story of Velma and Roxie, two rival murderesses hungry for fame and attention during the Roaring Twenties. 

Acting: Velma and Roxie are currently played by Lana Gordon and Veronica Dunne respectively, and both ladies are triple threat actresses, singers, and dancers, and nail the Fosse choreography. A real standout for me was Paul Nolan (last seen on Broadway in "Bright Star") as the smooth-talking lawyer Billy Flynn. I loved his rendition of classic songs such as "They Both Reached for the Gun" and "Razzle Dazzle." Also of note is the beautiful ensemble made up of Broadway vets. 

Score: The iconic score is written by the legendary Kander and Ebb, one of my all-time favorite musical theatre writers. Each song perfectly reflects the vaudeville standards of the '20s, with crowd-pleasers like "The Cell Block Tango," "All That Jazz," "Mr. Cellophane," the two songs I mentioned earlier, and "Nowadays." 

My Opinion: "Chicago" is the second longest-running musical of all time on Broadway, and even though the show is an audience favorite, some of the "razzle dazzle" has faded over the years. It is still a classic, and the current cast is a reason to go and see it if you haven't done so, or to make a return trip to the Ambassador Theatre. I give it 6/10 escapes!