Chicago

Chicago is a musical set in Prohibition-era Chicago with a book by Fred Ebb and Bob Fosse, music by John Kander with lyrics by Fred Ebb. The story is a satire on corruption in the administration of criminal justice, and the concept of the “celebrity criminal”. The musical is based on a 1926 play of the same name by reporter Maurine Dallas Watkins about actual criminals and crimes she had reported on.

The original Broadway production opened June 3, 1975 at the 46th Street Theatre and ran for 936 performances. Bob Fosse choreographed the original production, and his style is strongly identified with the show. Chicago’s 1996 Broadway revival holds the record for the longest-running musical revival on Broadway (not counting the revue Oh! Calcutta!) and is Broadway’s sixth longest-running show. As of January 12, 2010, it has played for more than 5,400 performances. The revival was followed by a production on London’s West End theatre and several tours and international productions. An Academy Award-winning film version of the musical was released in 2002, directed by Rob Marshall and starring Catherine Zeta-Jones, Renee Zellweger, Richard Gere, and Queen Latifah.

In roaring twenties Chicago, Roxie Hart, an ambitious chorus girl, murders her lover. Roxie goes to jail and joins another famous stage performer and murderess, Velma Kelly. Both Roxie and Velma are headline hunters seeking to capitalize on pre-trial publicity for the sake of acquittal and stage careers. In the end, their tricky lawyer, Billy Flynn, manages to get both Roxie and Velma free. However, another woman shoots up the courthouse and steals the limelight – effectively ending the careers of both Roxie and Velma.

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