Theatre Reviews
Comedy Reviews
Music Reviews
Book Reviews
Film Reviews
Product Reviews
Other Reviews

2005 Tour
Reviewed by Clive Fuller

Chicago hit the second city and made a great impact at Birmingham's Alexandra Theatre with the opening performance of a two-week booking. A capacity audience was treated to great dance numbers, strong principal performances and an enjoyable evening out.

I got the feeling that many in the audience were not seeing this show for the first time and as often is the case with long running musical tours, they build up a loyal following of dedicated fans whose enthusiasm adds to the spectacle.

The music is by the legendary John Kander and lyrics by the equally famous Fred Ebb. Their first major success was in 1966 with 'Cabaret', which had a run of 1,166 performances and won the Tony Award as the season's best musical. The original choreography was by the marvellously talented Bob Fosse and much of the atmosphere created by Ann Reinking and the talented team of dancers is down to him.

The whole evening gets off to a great musical start right from the opening number 'All that Jazz' and with orchestrations by jazz powerhouse Ralph Burns the tempo is set and the action begins. Musical director Dan Jackson and his large orchestra enjoy every minute of this rhythmic show and it is so refreshing to have a full size orchestra on tour as it adds so much to the sound quality.

Cavin Cornwall gives a strong performance as the devious lawyer Billy Flynn, hell bent on getting Roxie (Claire Taylor) off her murder charge. But it is Rachel Stanley as Velma and Taylor who get the best of the numbers and sequences throughout the production.

The comedy and pathos comes from Christopher Howell as downtrodden Amos Hart and there's a wonderful and quite bizarre cameo from CC Mullaney as Mary Sunshine. You have to see it to appreciate the twist.

But the stand out sequence is 'Razzle Dazzle' where all the sassiness and sexiness comes together and the company give it 100%. Needless to say, the audience laps it up.

There is no doubting this show, which was first performed back in 1975, is still a big success and it deserves to do great business all over the country. If you want a memorable theatre night out then this has to be it.

Copyright Clive Fuller 2005. For syndication rights, please email.


Clive Fuller saw Chicago at Birmingham's Alexandra Theatre on 21st March 2005.

Chicago is currently touring the UK. For dates and venues, click here.

Related items

Chicago: London Cast [SOUNDTRACK]

Cheap tickets for Chicago in London
From £25

Cheap tickets for Chicago in New York
and great hotel deals
Click here

Chicago [2003] DVD

Chicago Original Film Soundtrack


by Bob Fosse and Fred Ebb

Chicago (Vocal Selections)
by John Kander and Fred Ebb

Bob Fosse's Broadway
by Margery Beddow

All That Jazz VHS [1979]  
Directed by Bob Fosse


About This Site
Copyright and Syndication