The Bio Channel special didn't really do any favours for the current production of Chicago. Playing at Star City, the current Australian offering, produced by the legendary, John Frost, has all the right elements to make Chicago a treat for those attending. (I really don't get doing a TV special about a dance heavy show, when you don't actually include the dancers!)
The minimalist design, is perfectly created in line with the original design styles of Fossy, whilst being artistic enough to frame some killer performances.
The current cast, including Gina Riley, Craig McLachlan, Carloine O'Connor and Sharon Millerchip are surprisingly well cast... I must admit I was not a huge fan of Caroline's work, as she always seems to get the "dark haired, fishnet stocking" roles in Australian theatre, but her determination and sale of the role impressed me so much, that its undeniable that the woman has a real talent that goes beyond her hairstyle and wardrobe.
I loved Ms Millerchip in the role of Roxi - first seeing her in Beauty and The Beast, I was well impressed that this performer actually has a massive and extensive range, and is destined to outshine many an Australian Performer.... a true talent. Her Roxi is unique and defining.
Craig was VERY good in his role as Bobby... his comedic delivery allowed him to shine in a pivotal and demanding role.
My favorite was Gina Riley (and initial draw card for attending the show) - with pipes like hers, you know your in for a musical treat and Gina totally delivers... I wouldn't be surprised if Gina gets international offers to reprise the role in other productions.
The supporting cast was a meld of seasoned dancers and singers, and some very raw talent... in the performance we saw, one of the girls either cannot do the splits, or completely missed her timing - to the point our entire row murmured at the same time "oooohh, that was harsh".
Fosse movement demands a high calibre of dancer, and the chorus is a mixed bunch - some slam dunking the dance moves, whilst failing to expertly deliver their one liners, or great actors who can pull of their lines, without the dance moves... but to be honest, if this is the only thing i can pick on - it goes to show how enjoyable the production was.
The downside of our particular evening was definitely the audience, talk about flat... they reacted liek they were there because they had to be, and couldn't wait to rush home to collect their tax bonus cheques... its a shame as the production deserved a much bigger response - and it certainly does, do the cast a favour, and go and show them some love!
Chicago is currently playing at Star City, before continuing on its national tour.
Rob loves his boy bands and has worked with most of them. When it became too hard to work in Australia with the media - he started POPrepublic.tv. Giving a voice to the pop culture scene for over 16 years (check dates depending on when you read this.) In his other life he is a creative director, film maker, photographer and designer... but pop is his one true love. Along with imaginary boyfriends, Nick Lachey and Channing Tatum (his husband approves).Website: www.robmanser.com