The musical, ‘Chicago,” used its razzle dazzle theatrics and phenomenal footwork to entice the audience at the Rochester Auditorium Theatre last weekend.
The foot-tapping rendition of the Broadway musical, which originally opened in 1975, portrays the city in the roaring ’20s. It tells the story of two women who coldly murder their lovers and then attempt to turn the coverage about their crimes into a vaudeville career.
Roxie Hart, played by Bianca Marroquin, shoots her lover, Fred Casely, after he mistakenly tries to walk out on her. She tries to convince her loyal husband, Amos (played amicably by Tom Farrell) to take the blame. When that doesn’t exactly go as Roxie had planned, she dances through the corrupt judicial system with the help of smooth-talking lawyer Billy Flynn (played to the pin by Tom Wopat).
While she’s waiting in jail for her big day, she meets another murderess with similar dreams of the vaudeville stage, Velma Kelly (Terra C. Macleod).
Mama Thorton (Carol Woods) is the warden of the women’s block and looks after the girls. Woods gave a particularly stunning performance in her solo, ‘When You’re Good to Mama,” with a resounding and powerful voice.
Both Marroquin and Macleod gave great performances as sultry murderesses, but definitely didn’t knock my socks off. It’s hard not to compare Catherine Zeta-Jones’s amazing portrayal in the film version of ‘Chicago” with Macleod’s performance, which paled in comparison.
At times, the leads’ quips and lines in songs were hard to hear, which took away some of the humor in the musical.
Still, the production finds the right balance of being showy without going overboard. The show plays on the audience’s awareness that they are watching a theatrical production and the actors address the audience a few times.
However, the set is not overbearing at all with only a chair or boa feather here and there, and lighting is used to portray jail bars and walls. The orchestra, which plays a large role, is seated on stage in a box that looks like a courtroom witness stand, giving the production a unique, yet simplistic feel.
The music itself is a hit from ‘All That Jazz” to ‘Cell Block Tango.” All of the performers, especially the chorus (who are just as talented dancers as the stars), do an amazing job of pulling off the legendary Bob Fosse choreography throughout the musical. The two leads dance incredibly in ‘Hot Honey Rag,” which closes the show with style.
‘Chicago” truly is a wonderful and classic Broadway film everybody should have the opportunity to see.
Bagley is a member of
the class of 2012.

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An open letter to all members of any university community

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UR Baseball beats Hamilton and RIT

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