|Date||25th September 2019|
|Society||Youth Connection Theatre Company|
|Venue||Park View Theatre|
|Type of Production||Musical|
|Musical Director||David Johnson|
Author: Michelle Coulson
Chicago is set in the 1920s and is a satirical look at murder, fame and the media machine following the fate of its leading ladies Roxy Hart, a wannabe vaudeville star convicted of murder, and her hero, double murderess and night club star, Velma Kelly.
From the opening bars of music it was clear the audience were going to be in for a treat. The band was excellent and became part of the performance being on stage and integrated into the scenes. The opening number was superb and set the tone for the rest of the production.
The set was minimalist as is required for this show with good use of props and furniture and this was enhanced by an excellent lighting plot. Sound quality was good throughout and the costumes were good and appropriate for the piece.
What was apparent right through the show was the level of commitment and enthusiasm of every single cast member, all of the numbers were delivered with energy and confidence and all of the supporting roles were well portrayed, some cast members taking on several different characters. One of the highlights of this show is the “Cell Block Tango” and this was also the case in this production. Each one of the murderesses gave her all and delivered first class singing, acting and choreography; the entire number looked and sounded excellent.
Gary Hoyle as “Mary Sunshine” looked perfect and his number “A Little bit of Good” was super, he managed to convincingly portray this most difficult of characters. As “Mama Morton” Jamie Donkin gave a strong portrayal of this intimidating character, her “When You’re Good to Mama” number was very well delivered. Jake Marshall gave a wonderful portrayal of Amos, he got the character just right and was a complete contrast to the other more flamboyant characters, “Mr Cellophane” was both a joy and a tragedy in equal measure. The smart, sharp character of “Billy Flynn” was in the capable hands of Craig Wallace, he looked and acted every inch the manipulative, money making heartbreaker lawyer and all of his numbers were well delivered, I particularly enjoyed “All I Care About” and “Razzle Dazzle” and the “Both Reached for the Gun” number was slick and well portrayed by Craig and the whole company. The two leading ladies were superb. Courtney Crawley as “Roxie Hart” and Rachel Duncan as “Velma Kelly” portrayed these characters with commitment and great skill, the two characters complimented and contrasted with each other and their voices blended well in the finale. Both are demanding roles vocally and physically due to the large amount of dancing and both ladies delivered. Rachel’s “All that Jazz” and Courtney’s “Roxie” were stand out moments for me.
The production team put together a superb evening’s entertainment which was thoroughly enjoyed by the very appreciative audience, congratulations to everyone involved.