This isn’t a sponsored post.
BrumHour saw Chicago at the invite of The Alexandra.
Darren Day spoke to Dave Massey on Brum Radio’s Interval Theatre about playing the role of Billy Flynn in the International Tour of Chicago. Listen here:
By Dave Massey twitter.com/BrumHour
This sexually charged production contains; cigarette smoking, sexually connected violence and some bad language.
Review: Chicago – The Musical at The Alexandra
⭐⭐⭐⭐- A Glorious Musical.
Recreation of original direction by Stacey Haynes, book by Fred Ebb and Bob Fosse, Lyrics by Fred Ebb and music by John Kander
Roxy Hart (Faye Brookes) kills a gentleman caller to her home and tries to get her husband Amos (Joel Montague) to take the blame until he realises his wife has apparently been cheating on him. Once in the slammer Roxy gets help from Mamma Morton (Sinitta Malone – Yes, that Sinitta!). But there is a pecking order in prison and Velma Kelly (Djalenga Scott) is already ahead of her. Roxy will need five thousand dollars to enlist the services of Billy Flynn (Darren Day). She will need to work her.. charm on him.
Turn back the clock one hundred years and imagine yourself across the pond in Birmingham’s twin city of Chicago in the state of Illinois, USA. Itself filled itself with dodgy happenings and fame-hungry criminals. This production very much follows the original 1975 musical, which in turn is based on a 1926 stage play of the same name.
There’s no set, just a few chairs, lights, a glitter curtain and limited props. The only ever-present object on stage is the orchestras own set, with multiple levels that looks like an American dining/cabaret theatre. The emphasis is here is on staging, lighting the music and musical story-telling. The men are in black trousers and see-through black mesh shirts or tops whilst the ladies are mostly in black underwear and blazers.
Chicago is a glorious musical, and this production was fun, charming and cheeky from start to finish. Faye Brookes and Djalenga Scott excel in their roles as rivals Roxy and Velma. Sinitta has fantastic vocals, Joel Montague is suitably downtrodden as Amos and Darren Day delivers an excellent Billy Flynn, confident and stylish as he shows off his musical talent.
There are plenty of great songs to enjoy and most songs are presented as individual acts, my favourites include Cell Block Tango, Razzle Dazzle, When You’re Good to Mama, Mr. Cellophane and of course All That Jazz.
The audience tonight were fairly raucous, as they sang along (some in tune!) and there was a moment of pause in the second half but I couldn’t immediately spot the cause.
Chicago is at The Alexandra until 29th January 2022. The International Tour currently continues until 30th July. See details here: chicagothemusical.com/international-tour