Chicago The Musical Brisbane Review @ QPAC

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'Chicago The Musical' 'Chicago The Musical' Image © Jeff Busby

'Chicago' really brings out the immense talents of its cast.


Exploring the story loved by many around the world about the 'celebrity criminal', 'Chicago' is presented on a minimalist stage mostly inhabited by the live band.

This is not a bad thing. It gives the actors the challenge of selling the plot and its settings with a small foundation – and they manage splendidly. Thankfully the music throughout this show is so iconic and so enjoyable that it really does drive the production.

'All That Jazz', 'Cell Block Tango', 'Razzle Dazzle', and 'Roxie' are just a few of the songs that stand out among this classic production, each performed to their full potential. The band should absolutely be congratulated for pulling off the '20s-style music wonderfully.

Natalie Bassingthwaighte is genuinely mesmerising as Roxy Hart. Her embodiment of and commitment to this role must be applauded – there's a particular scene where she vamps and just generally wanders the stage singing and speaking, that I'd have been happy to watch for an hour. And she delivers her lines so stunningly – the comedic ones with a real bite, and the more emotional ones with sheer believability. Bravo.

Alinta Chidzey plays the sultry, seductive role of Velma Kelly well. Her rivalry/chemistry with Nat as Roxie is convincing, and there are layers of desperation to the character that are pulled off here.

Then we have Casey Donovan as Matron 'Mama' Morton, and at this stage it's impossible to deny this woman's abilities. She may have been introduced on our screens as a pop singer on 'Australian Idol', but it's the musical theatre stage where Casey belongs. You can really tell she's having the time of her life, and her voice is genuinely phenomenal, receiving huge applause from the audience.

Tom Burlinson's Billy Flynn is marvellous to witness as well. He's just as sickly sweet and convincing as Billy is required to be, with his main jingle 'All I Care About (Is Love)' perfectly displaying his penchant for deception.

Other cast members who really made an impact in the show include Rodney Dobson as Amos Hart and J Furtado as Mary Sunshine.

'Chicago' is a great night at the theatre featuring enormous talent, an iconic soundtrack, and a minimalist stage used beyond its full potential.

'Chicago' plays Queensland Performing Arts Centre until 7 December.

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