Chicago. High School Edition

Date 9th March 2019
Society Brighton Theatre Group
Venue The Old Market, Hove.
Type of Production Musical
Director Michael Burnie
Musical Director Jo Barnes
Choreographer Jodie Michele
Producer Keith Shepherd

Report

Author: Dee Sharpe

The plot of Chicago contains adultery, betrayal, exploitation, greed, corruption, violence and murder. Set in gaol, with six women facing murder charges, it is a satirical dig at the power of the media, the greed of lawyers and the transience of fame, position and life itself.

The story is mainly about two of the women, Velma Kelly and Roxie Hart, who want Billy Flynn, their lawyer, to convince a jury of their innocence. He is happy to do this, for a fat fee, without any qualms about whether they are indeed innocent or guilty.

Mille Irvine as Velma and Ava Dodsworth as Roxie had rivalry and jealousy sizzling between them.  Millie as Velma was stunningly attractive with a fabulous stage presence.  Ava as Roxie was another stunner, but in contrast to Roxie was fragile and tempestuous. Millie’s voice rich and smooth in contrast to Ava’s which was like happy honey.

But the stand-out female vocal, for me, was Sofia Goghrod who played Mama Morton. She also had a larger than life stage presence and her voice was pure magic, powerful, velvety and vibrant.

Billy Flynn, perfectly played by James Lay oozed confidence and charm with appropriate dashes of greed and sleaze. A ‘wow’ moment, was the scene when he sat Roxie on his knee like a dummy and spoke for her  like a ventriloquist. Their  mouths synchronised perfectly; it was brilliant.  Bailey Dean as Amos Hart was another gem who generated empathy, warmth and the biggest laugh with his rendition of Mr Cellophane Man.

The famous musical score – All that Jazz, When Your’e Good to Mama, Razzle Dazzle to name a few of the numbers, was performed brilliantly by all and a special accolade should go to the excellent orchestra who did them all justice.

The other ‘murderesses’, the wonderful chap that did the  “Blah, blah, blah, blah…truth, truth, truth” line, the dancers, other actors and the production team created a seamless wonder, so that the dancing, singing, acting and scene changes flowed like a magnificent waterfall.  This young cast should be immensely proud of their slick, professional, and hugely entertaining production of Chicago.