Chicago the MusicalPhoto - Vito Mattarelli

They are sleazy, sordid and quite sinful. And we quite obviously can't wait for them to get here. I write this as I ponder the large pack of media who waited patiently outside Melbourne's Gin Palace for Chicago's cast to arrive and give the all-important photo opportunity.
 
Well they arrived in style (in vintage cars), and gave everyone their wideshots, close-ups and martini-in-hand cheers.
 
In full costume (think black negligee, but not much of it), Caroline O'Connor (Velma Kelly) and Sharon Millerchip (Roxie Hart), and six female ensemble members, dazzled the awaiting papparazzi (oops media) and many of the area's office-workers who happened to be passing.
 
Chicago the Musical is now a theatrical phenomenon. After a successful, but not record-breaking run around the world in the late 70s and early 80s, this gem of a show was given new life just over 10 years ago when Walter Bobbie (Director) and Ann Reinking (Choreography) re-staged it on a simple set, but honouring the style of the show's original creator, the late great Bob Fosse.
 
That production successfully toured Australia and starred at various times both Caroline and Sharon.
 
Since then there has been a hugely popular film version, which went on to win the Best Picture Academy Award.
 
Producer John Frost has decided that new audiences (and many not so new) are ready to embrace a revival with it's own killer cast - aside from the multi-talented Caroline, and the ever popular Sharon, the production also boasts the talents of Craig McLachlan as sleazy lawyer Billy Flynn and Gina Riley as the "keeper of the keys" Matron Mama Morton.
 
This production opened in Brisbane in March and received sensational reviews, and played an almost sold-out season. The Sydney season begins next week, with Chicago ready to shake up this town when it opens at Her Majesty's Theatre from 15 August. 
 
Note: Chicago is still running on Broadway where it has become the longest-running revival and on the West End where it is the longest running American musical ever.
 
Caroline O'Connor is one of the few performers in the world who has performed the role on Broadway and the West End, and was invited to perform with the show's all-star 10th Anniversary presentation. 
 
Melbourne audiences will have high expectations. But a quick chat with Caroline revealed that she not only loves being back in the show, but is greatly looking forward to returning to Melbourne with it. "It feels like coming home" as the revival opened  in Melbourne in 1998. I don't think that there will be many disappointed patrons.
 
Now where did I leave that martini? 
 
 
Chicago the Musical

Her Majesty's Theatre, Melbourne
From 15 August 2009
ticketek.com.au or 1300 795 012
chicagothemusical.com.au

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