Theatre Review: Chicago

This is an immersive new look ‘Chicago’ in a very secret location.

Presented by Emma Knights Productions
Reviewed 23 May 2017

In a newly refurbished, fantastic art deco hall, with the band on stage, this was a top-notch production. Without doubt the real stars of the evening were the music and the choreography; congratulations to Kerreanne Sarti and Emma Knights. The whole night was very polished and the stellar cast did a great job.

Stefanie Rossi has the voice and the body for merry murderess Velma – she commanded the stage. Although very good, Fiona Aitken does not have the voice for Roxie; she looks cute and has all the right moves but is definitely out sung by Rossi. Mark DeLaine is the personification of Amos and delivered an exceptional version of Cellophane. Slipping into the role of Billy Flynn is no challenge for Jeff Lang; he charms his way through, delivering a very smooth All I Care About. Mel Smith may not have the big frame normally associated with Mamma Morton but her huge voice makes up for it. Her duet with Rossi (Velma), Class, is a highlight.

Mary Sunshine is always a fun role and Zak Vasiliou gives it everything he’s got, including a strong high register. As the murder victim, Buddy Dawson extracts the humour with his rubber face as well as being a part of the very fine male dance chorus with Vasiliou, Michael Coumi, Josh Barkley, Thomas Philips, Ray Cullen, Angus Smith and Jared Gerschwitz. These guys also play various minor roles.

The merry murderesses are portrayed by Shenayde Wilkinson-Sarti, Peta Shannon, Rachel Mifsud, Hayley Wolfendale, Alana Shepherdson, with Jemma Allen as Miss Kitty and Emma Hamilton filling in the line as Velma’s sister. Their moves are sharp, sexy and perfectly in sync. Backed by the boy’s ensemble they make Cell Block Tango a tour d’ force. The opening number All That Jazz and Razzle Dazzle are designed to take the breath away.

The band is tight and sounds good, although the tempo seemed to drag a little at times, but the music is complemented by the singers who manage to move and sing while doing some speccy choreography on very dangerous looking steps. There is some relief from the all black dress code in the beginning, with over-the-top costuming in later numbers. My only disappointment was that this new version seems to have lost much of the quirky comedy that I loved about this show. The sound and lighting by All Pro Audio and Amplify This 200 Productions was good.

You will be very sorry if you miss this show!

Reviewed by Fran Edwards
Twitter: @franeds

Venue: Secret location to be notified when tickets booked
Season: 24-28 May 2017
Duration: 2.5 hr
Tickets: Adult $48 Conc $44 Group $46 (10 or more) Restricted view $40
Bookings: Ph.: 0402 431 315 Email: [email protected]


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