Chicago celebrates milestone in London

  1. Chicago celebrates milestone in London
    By Paul Majendie

    LONDON (Reuters) - For a musical that cynically mocks society's obsession with celebrity, Chicago found the perfect formula in London -- keep rotating pop singers and Hollywood stars in the lead roles.

    The revival celebrated its 10th anniversary on Tuesday with the stars of the past decade reuniting for a charity performance of the musical about two murderous chorus girls and a razzle-dazzle showbusiness lawyer.

    Kelly Osbourne, congregating for a photocall before the massed ranks of paparazzi outside the theatre, had no doubt: "It's the best thing I have ever done in my life. The story line is so before its time."

    Ruthie Henshall, who took to the stage in 1997 as Roxie Hart said: "They were very smart in doing the celebrity revolving door. It works for this show."

    "Ten years ago it came right on the heels of the OJ Simpson trial so it was very relevant. We are all totally obsessed with celebrity."

    The London revival of the musical, first staged in New York back in 1975, has survived with a constantly changing cast ranging from Hollywood stars Brooke Shields and Joel Grey to French pop singer Sacha Distel.

    Duncan James from the pop group Blue said: "The marketing behind it is quite extraordinary. You get celebrities in and it changes the dynamic of the show. It is one of those shows people come back to time after time."

    In a decade of high-kicking decadence, the cast of Chicago has got through almost 15,000 pairs of tights. It has grossed over 120 million pounds at the box office.

    So why has it lasted?

    Ute Lemper, who played opposite Henshall in the 1997 production, said: "It hits the modern nerve."

    "Also the movie version (in which Catherine Zeta Jones won an Oscar) gave it a big kick in the butt and said 'You stay up there'. Everyone in the world saw the movie and said 'Now I want to see the live show.'"

    Nigel Planer, who played alongside Henshall and Lemper in the revival, said "Even my dad likes Chicago and he hates musical theatre. It is a very classy piece of writing and composing."


    (http://news.scotsman.com/latest.cfm?id=1901092007)
     
  2. I've never seen this musical live....I really want to though! Maybe when I go to London this spring!