As one of her Christmas presents (I won’t say from whom but his name begins with R and he’s a very good present buyer!) Sally got two top-price tickets to the musical Chicago!

Sally loves the film version of this, I quite like it myself, and we both wanted to see it “Live”. So, yesterday, off we went to London (luckily she chose to go with me), for a fun day out.

As part of the present I’d bought the CD of the soundtrack too. The film and the CD are, as you would expect highly polished, well produced, with dazzling effects, stunning performances from all the artists, and plenty of razzmatazz and razzle-dazzle.

We love the music, which is lively and varied and really captures the mood of 1920’s America.

Did the stage show live up to the promise of the film and soundtrack?

Well, yes! But they we’re very different. The show was…well…I guess it was more of a show. It was less polished but it knew that and made up for it by being slightly tongue-in-cheek. The show girl scene portrayed in the movie as sleazy and sensational, came across in the show as slightly silly – more Blackpool Pier than Chicago!

The stage was less sophisticated than I was expecting. It was quite a basic set up but with the band on platforms behind a limited stage space. The musicians were very prominent and played a big part in the show. There was even some clever interaction between the cast, the band and the conductor, which worked very well. The music was brilliant and I thought the band were just as much stars as the cast were.

It was highly entertaining and, while not worthy of a standing ovation, very well performed by some very fit, strong and talented people who can dance, act, sing, climb, and do acrobatics – usually more than one at the same time.

All in all it was well worth going to see. The excellent soundtrack (bar the last few tracks which are modern songs “based on” the story) will be revived occasionally I’m sure, but, as is my experience with most musical soundtracks, won’t be an often-heard CD. The film, however, will be watched again and again on dull evenings that need a bit of livening up.