Comparing ‘Chicago’

Lies, murder, prison, sex and adultery, isn’t ‘Chicago’ grand? Chicago, the musical, is not short on gun shots, affairs, and catchy music. Now many would say that comparing the production put on by Castleton and the one on Broadway would not be fair, but why not? After all, some of the people in Castleton’s production may aspire to be on Broadway someday. Besides our show doesn’t compare too badly.

            The main differences between the productions are the interpretation of some of the characters, and the costumes. On Broadway Roxie is more ditzy, but still sassy whereas at Castleton she seemed to have more attitude. Both worked well, though.

            Costumes at the Ambassador Theatre were simple and black with only a hand full of costume changes. Castleton on the other hand had outstanding costumes and many costume changes. Castleton’s costumes were vibrant, sparkly and creative, especially during the song “Razzle Dazzle” where the scene becomes a circus, literally. Costumes throughout the show ranged from lingerie, diapers and leotards to dresses with ruffles, kimonos, and suits These outfits added to the show and made it stand out from boring old black on Broadway.

            Where Castleton really shined in the comparison was when the character Billy Flynn was doing a ventriloquist act. Castleton’s Billy was singing with his mouth almost shut whereas at Broadway he was singing normally.

             Our show also put death right on stage with the hanging of Hunyak, the Hungarian woman. On Broadway Hunyak climbed a ladder that went behind stage and a noose was dropped. This seems odd. You would think Broadway would be more willing to take the risk of showing death.

            Broadway did a semi-different script than the Castleton cast. Certain lines were omitted, but for the most part they were the same. All of the songs were the same and both contained dark humor. Parts of casting were even similar. Amra-Faye Wright, Velma on Broadway, was also Sheila in Chorus Line just like Castleton’s Velma Kenzie McCain played both roles.

            These productions are very different but they are both worth seeing.  But be aware the songs may get stuck in your head.

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