REVIEW: Chicago @ The Opera House, Manchester
There is no doubt that this Opera House production of the smash hit musical, Chicago, has pulled out all the stops to give audiences all that jazz… and more.
The show fizzes with energy and faultless performances from every cast member from chorus line to leading characters.
Based on real life observations of Chicago Tribune reporter Maurine Dallas Watkins in the roaring 1920s, the show tells the story of nightclub singer Roxie Hart who shoots her lover and cell block rival, double-murderess Velma Kelly, who fight to keep from death row with the help of sliver-tongued lawyer, Billy Flynn.
Sam Bailey, who was a prison warder before finding fame with X-Factor, is stunning as jailer, Mama Morton. Anyone who saw her on the talent show would know she can belt out a tune, but her vocal talents are matched by a convincing and more than competent acting performance.
Sophie Carmen-Jones also impresses in the role of Velma with former Corrie star Hayley Tamaddon proving there is much more to her than soap star.
Similarly, John Partridge delivers as the smooth-talking Billy Flynn.
Based on the play by Dallas Watkins, the show was adapted as a musical by Fred Ebb and Bob Fosse, with music by John Kander and lyrics by Fred Ebb.
Also worth mentions are scenic designer John Lee Beatty, costume designer William Ivey Long, lighting by Ken Billington who provide some real razzle dazzle.
The show runs at the Opera House till April 2nd. It would be a crime to miss it.