Well, as Sinatra used to sing… ‘bet your bottom dollar you’ll lose the blues in Chicago’ and that certainly applied last night in Exhibition Street –with the opening of the latest high energy version of the hit musical Chicago.
It is a stunner. I tell you the talent on stage right now in a couple of city blocks with Chicago at Her Majesty’s and Jersey Boys at The Princess and you can match anything right now on Broadway.
And I say that, having gone to the opening night of Chicago last night with a modicum of trepidation. I knew the talent would be good –with Sharon Millerchip and Caroline O’Connor – but I’d seen the old Chicago. Not the last incarnation about 15 years ago but back in the early Eighties with Nancy Hayes and Geraldine Turner and Terry Donovan. No offence to the talent but 25 years ago I thought the show was dated and tired.
Not this time. Any more energy and the lights would fail. Millerchip and O’Connor are brilliant. Individually and together. It’s a duel. Dancing shoes at twenty paces. And Craig McLaughlin has come a million miles from the mullet. He’s fit as a bull and super slick as the smooth-talking lawyer. I reckon he could have got Carl Williams off.
The scene where he plays the mouthpiece with Millerchip as his ventriloquist’s dummy is worth the ticket price alone. She is such an animated human puppet I think I’ll start calling her Sharon Microchip.
I’d also forgotten how many great songs came out of Chicago, the show not the town. All That Jazz, Razzle Dazzle, the sadsack Mr. Cellophone .
And whatever happened to class? Well, I know what happened. It turned up on stage at Her Maj last night.
According to Roxy she, and her lover, the man she shot, both reached for gun. I suggest you reach for some tickets quick smart. This will be a hit show.