The national touring company of Chicago the Musical will come to Victoria for the first time in December for a week of performances.article continues below
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“This is a show I’ve been after to bring to Victoria for years, but it was always difficult to co-ordinate,” said presenter Henry Kolenko of Broadway in Victoria.
The Victoria-raised promoter previously brought the musicals Mamma Mia! and Stomp to the city. Both drew sell-out crowds. Kolenko believes Chicago will do the same over the six nights it is in town, from Dec. 18 to 23.
“This is the real Broadway show and it truly represents the best in musical theatre,” Kolenko said, noting Chicago is one of the most popular shows in musical-theatre history.
The final cast for the show, to be staged at the Royal Theatre, has yet to be announced. The story, written by Fred Ebb and Bob Fosse, is based on a play by journalist Maurine Dallas Watkins about true crimes she reported on.
The show is set in 1920s Prohibition-era Chicago and follows the story of Roxie Hart, a Vaudeville nightclub performer and housewife who murders her lover. In jail, she meets an array of fellow female murderers competing for fame in tabloid headlines — with the help of a greasy lawyer.
Kolenko said the story is more than a gripping satire on the concept of celebrity criminals.
“The show is driven by the choreography, the music and the story,” he said, referring to Fosse’s signature choreography and the string of hit songs by composer John Kander and lyricist Ebb, such as All the Jazz, Cell Block Tango and Mr. Cellophane.
The Tony-award winning musical was a hit when it debuted on Broadway in 1975, with the original cast featuring Gwen Verdon, Chita Rivera and Jerry Orbach. The 1996 revival holds the record for the longest-running revival and longest-running American musical on Broadway. A 2002 film based on the musical, starring Renée Zellweger, Catherine Zeta-Jones and Richard Gere won an Academy Award.
Kolenko said the best part about the touring show is that it is consistent with what you’d see on Broadway, with the same set and staging, thanks to longtime producers Barry and Fran Weissler.
“Some of the cast even act as subs for the Broadway cast,” he said.
One thing that does change from city to city is the band. Kolenko said local musicians will be hired to perform in the show, as a house band on stage. “Victoria has great musicians, so that shouldn’t be hard,” he said.
Tickets for Chicago the Musical go on sale at 10 a.m. on Oct. 27 through the Royal and McPherson Theatre box office at rmts.bc.ca or 250-386-6121. They cost $89 and $99 plus applicable fees and taxes.
Source : http://www.timescolonist.com/chicago-the-musical-blows-into-victoria-this-winter-1.23069751