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Chicago the Musical

Updated on November 23, 2008

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).

Chicago Timeline

  • 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.

"Me And My Baby" - from 'Chicago' - Broadway Cast

Ginger Rogers as Roxie in the film "Roxie Hart"

Chicago (2002) - Trailer

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    • profile image

      ALISON 8 years ago

      THAT FILM IS GREAT.BUT U SHOULD WATCH THE REAL THING.IT JUST THE BEST THING NY1 COULD WANT TO WATCH.

    • Stacie Naczelnik profile image
      Author

      Stacie Naczelnik 9 years ago from Seattle

      The Ginger Rogers version is so "cleaned" up.

    • Lissie profile image

      Elisabeth Sowerbutts 9 years ago from New Zealand

      Nah the stage show is way is better than the movie - they cut a lot of dancing out of the movie and made it more the fantasy scenes. The clip with Ginger Rogers is interesting - they appear to be dancing some mixture of Charleston and Jitterbug - not quite as sexy as the Jail House Tango in the modern version!

    • Bob Ewing profile image

      Bob Ewing 9 years ago from New Brunswick

      The movie was fun.

    • Stacie Naczelnik profile image
      Author

      Stacie Naczelnik 9 years ago from Seattle

      The movie and musical are such sexy productions. You can't miss them.

    • stephhicks68 profile image

      Stephanie Hicks 9 years ago from Bend, Oregon

      The movie was incredible! I didn't dare try to write about it. But Stacie did quite a job- nice work!

    • Stacie Naczelnik profile image
      Author

      Stacie Naczelnik 9 years ago from Seattle

      I was pleasantly surprised by the movie. You should check it out.

    • Isabella Snow profile image

      Isabella Snow 9 years ago

      You know, I never saw that movie. It looks good -- I thought it would be awful! Now I want to see it!