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Chicago the Musical
If you haven’t seen some version of the musical Chicago, then you are really missing out on a fun treat. Even if you aren’t a huge fan of musicals, this is one you should see. Luckily, you don’t have to travel to New York City to see the Broadway version (although I recommend it). There are plenty of local productions and movie versions you can take advantage of.
Chicago the Musical was written by John Kander and Fred Ebb, a songwriting team (you may have heard of their most successful song – New York, New York). Chicago the Musical is based on a play of the same name written by Maurine Dallas Watkins, who was a reporter for the Chicago Tribune. The two main characters of Chicago are based on two real life women who were charged with murders: Beulah Annan and Belva Gaertner. The two female characters in Chicago are named Roxie Hart and Velma Kelly. I don’t want to give the story away because you really need to see it, but it is a fabulous parody of the justice system (particularly when celebrities are involved).
- 1926: Chicago, the play debuts.
- 1927: The play is made into a silent film.
- 1942: Roxie Hart, a cleaned up film version, starring Ginger Rogers, of the play is released.
- 1975: Chicago: A Musical Vaudeville makes its Broadway debut, running for 936 performances.
- 1977: Chicago closes on Broadway.
- 1996, Chicago is chosen as one of the three musicals featured in New York City Center’s “Encores!” for the fall season.
- 1996: Now titled Chicago: The Musical, it opens on Broadway and is an instant hit.
- 1997: Wins 6 Tony Awards
- 1998: Wins Grammy Award
- 2002: Film version of the Zander-Ebb musical is released, starring Renee Zellweger, Richard Gere, and Catherine Zeta-Jones. Film wins Oscar award for Best Picture.
In a day and age when we constantly see celebrities on the news for committing crimes, this musical offers a great portrayal of how famous people are treated by our legal system. If you are interested in watching a risqué, satirical view of how the public and the system can be manipulated, I suggest you check out Chicago the Musical.