Review of Chicago at the Cambridge Corn Exchange

IF you’d have been there.... if you’d have seen it – you would have whooped and applauded too.

Chicago on Tour, at Cambridge Corn Exchange until Saturday, December 8. Review by ANGELA SINGER.

IF you’d have been there.... if you’d have seen it – you would have whooped and applauded too.

Once you have seen the film, no stage production of Chicago can equal the dance routines. Even if the band didn’t take up most of the stage (as it does in this West End touring production), it would be hard to stage something as powerful as the sequence which cuts between a hanging and a ballet. Also the screen actors defined the roles. There is only one sensuous Queen Latifah with her Mae West walk.

However, this production zings. Ali Bastian is a rip, roaring, Roxie. Genevieve Nicole is a velvet Velma. Stefan Booth is Mr Smooth. He is a slinky, silky, scintillating Billy Flynn and a packed Cambridge audience loved what it saw.

Song after song, dance after dance – all after the style of Bob Fosse, if not his original choreography, were mesmerisingly good. The duets: My Own Best Friend, sang by Ali Bastian and Genevieve Nicole and Class sung by Genevieve Nicole and Wendy-Lee Purdy as Mama Morton are sublime.

The wonderful numbers hit home throughout. Alex Weatherhill as Mary Sunshine, really is A Little Bit of Good. Jamie Baughan’s cuckolded husband Amos is a convincing, down-to-earth foil to his wife’s star-struck dreams. He is a deft Mr Celophane.

Most Read

Kander and Ebb’s satire never fails to amuse. The supremely self-seeking, all-powerful Press seemed particularly pertinent in the wake of the Leveson inquiry. The point not being lost that the only woman to be hanged at the jail in over 40 years is the only one to insist on her innocence. She didn’t have a story for the papers.

This is an endearing, enduring show and a great night out.