Chicago! What A Blast-Review Part 4 (Final) Act II

by MaryD

 

And now we come to the final Act to a magnificent show! If you have missed the other reviews here are the links

Act II


LIGHTS OUT! and a mic comes down from the ceiling and Tallulah again welcomes the audience with the line "Hello Suckers" and then tells us that Roxie is being examined by the doctors.

"Me and My Baby" - Roxie and Company
Amanda, Stephen, Mike and James


Roxie is now sporting a baby bump and proceeds to sing her away in the very fun song "Me and My Baby". While the audience is pre-occupied with Roxie and the wacky doctors (Stephen, Mike and James), they totally miss the very ugly babies coming out from the side.

I had a ball watching the audience member in the last seat in row A of Block B. That was where Rebekkah would come and surprise the hell out of the person in the audience. HYSTERICAL. The audience member is not expecting that to happen because they are watching Amanda and the boys during the song. Rebekkah comes out and stares down the audience member which is just so funny - she got such a varied response; mostly surprise and hysterical laughter! I loved that little side show. Ugly baby mask <g>

Joining Rebekkah with ugly baby masks are Katie, and Will with Lavinia sporting the biggest pacifier (dummy) I've seen <g>

 

"Mr. Cellophane" - Amos Hart
Andrew Grainger

Image635237713429570391Amos is proud to announce that he is the father but no one listens, no one cares. This leads to one of my favourite songs "Mr Cellophane"

Wow. In my first review after I saw the show for the second time I said:

"I have fallen in love with the character of Amos Hart played by Andrew Grainger, Roxie's long suffering husband. Of all the murderers, thieves, sleazy lawyers and vultures of the press, one character is an innocent. That is Amos. My heart went out to the man who is not like any other in the show. His performance of Mr. Cellophane is heartbreaking. The audience simply loves him."

The audience reaction to Andrew was amazing. I suspect this has more to do with how people could connect with the song and the singer. We have all felt like we were "Mr Cellophane" at some point and we haven't been seen for who we really are. Every performance I've been to (even with the more quieter audiences), this one song made an impact.

 

Velma and Billy
Lucy Lawless and Shane Cortese

1460239_10151977983074054_1059206859_n563563_10151977982909054_1513775426_nVelma has some brilliant ideas about how to go about convincing the jury she is innocent and approaches Billy. She shoes him her silver shoes with rhinestone buckles and then says it's all about the razzle dazzle. She then proceeds to tell Billy that she should give her a hankerchief when she breaks down and also a glass of water because she's feeling feint.

Nice strategy and she's excited until Billy tell her that her trial date has been pushed back. Now that gets her very angry and she pokes Billy in the chest. That doesn't go down very well. She storms off vowing being glad to be rid of Roxie for good.

 

 

Chicago2Roxie and Billy

Amanda and Shane

The now very pregnant Roxie confronts Billy claiming she has all the bright ideas and she doesn't need him.

 

 

[Roxie Hart]

Look at here, Mr. Mouthpiece. It seems to me that I'm the one who's coming up
with the good ideas. I'm sick of everybody telling me what to do. And you treat
me like dirt. You treat me like some dump, common criminal.

[Billy Flynn]
But you're some dump, common criminal.

[Roxie Hart]
Well, it's better than be a greasy-mite lawyer.

[Billy Flynn]
Who is up to be saving your ass.

[Roxie Hart]
Who is up for all that he can steal!

[Billy Flynn]
Maybe you'd like to appeal on court without me.

[Roxie Hart]
Maybe I could. Have you read the morning papers? They love me.

[Billy Flynn]
There maybe a lot more when you hang. You know why? 'Cause it's sold more
papers.

[Roxie Hart]
You're fired.

[Billy Flynn]
I quit.

[Roxie Hart]
Any lawyer in this town would die to have my case.

[Billy Flynn]
You're a phony celebrity. You're a flash. ln a couple of weeks, no one would
give a shit about you. That's Chicago.

 

The Hanging of the Hungarian

Colleen, Katie, Stephen, James, Amanda and Shane


The lights dim and we have Hunyak being brought out along with a table and chairs. The public defender (Stephen) is trying to get her to confess but all she keep repeating is "Not Guilty". I found this particular scene very confronting. You somehow overlook that these women are in prison with all the singing and dancing. It's this scene that brings it to the forefront. Mama Morton is trying to get her to change her plea but Hunyak doesn't change her plea. She's innocent and she won't plead guilty.

The case is lost and Hunyak is the first woman hanged in Cook County for 47 years.

Hunyak is found guilty and at the hanging, she is still protesting her innocence whilst the hood is placed over her head and the noose comes down from the ceiling. She is helped up on the chair and then the chair is pulled away and she hangs.

There is absolute silence in the theatre with just the spotlight on Hunyak. She hangs there for quite some time with Roxie in one corner, Billy in the other and Velma at the other corner. They all witness her death.

"This dress makes me look like a Woolworths lamp shade. I'm not wearing this dress." Roxie says and breaks the silence of the hanging of the Hungarian. VERY powerful moment. It seems so frivolous compared to the death.

 

 

"Razzle Dazzle" - Billy and Company

Chicago_1200Image635237778614869088Roxie has very quickly changed her mind and rehired Billy after Hunyak's hanging. When she confesses that she is scared, Billy reassures her. I'm not sure why but Hannah comes out wearing barely anything and dances around Roxie, firelighters in hand (or whatever it was I couldn't see it).

 

 

 

[Billy Flynn]
Thank you.
(to Roxie) You ready?

[Roxie Hart]
Yeah.
Billy...
I'm scared.

[Billy Flynn]
Don't be. I've been around a long time. Believe me, you've got nothing to worry
about. It's all a circus. A three-ring circus. The trial, the whole world...
is all a show business. Kid, you gonna be a star.
Give 'em the old razzle dazzle
Razzle dazzle 'em
Give 'em an act with lots of flash in it
And the reaction will be passionate
Give 'em the old hocus pocus
Bread and feather 'em
How can they see with sequins in their eyes?
What if your hinges all are rusting?
What if, in fact, you're just disgusting ?
Razzle dazzle 'em
And they'll never catch wise!
Give 'em the old razzle dazzle
Razzle dazzle 'em
Give 'em a show that's so splendiferous
Row after row will grow vociferous
Give 'em the old flim flam flummox
Fool and fracture 'em
How can they hear the truth above the roar?
Roar, roar, roar.
Throw 'em a fake and a finagle
They'll never know you're just a bagel,
Razzle dazzle 'em
And they'll beg you for more!


What follows is pure theatre as Billy, the lawyer, shows how to manipulate the jury. It's a spectacular scene with the majority of the cast on stage except for Lucy. It even includes Wonder Woman on skates coming out with signs which read "Truth" "Justice" and a photo of Jesus.

During the performance, Hannah ends up sitting at the edge of Block D, Will and Lavinia in front of Block C and Katie in front of Block B.


Hannah's lack of clothes is a bit of a problem if you are sitting directly in front of her. With my height it was difficult to see above her so I concentrated on her face. <g>


"Class" - Velma and Mama Morton

Lucy and Colleen

We're back to the prison where Mama is listening to the "radio" broadcast of Roxie's trial. Sitting with her is Velma. Both of them are sitting on the stand used in the previous number. To Velma's horror, her strategy to gain the jury's sympathy has been stolen by Roxie. Velma is indignant and rushes over to the radio fist's raised. Mama warns not to break her radio!

[Velma Kelly]
First she steals my publicity, then she steals my lawyer, my trial date,
now she stole shoes!

Mama tells her it her fault for leaving them and transition into the song "Class." Lucy and Colleen's voices blend so beautifully here.

(Velma)
Whatever happened to fair dealing
And pure ethics
And nice manners?
Why is it everyone now is a pain in the Ass?
Whatever happened to class?

(Mama)
Class.
Whatever happened to Please may I
And Yes thank you
And How charming?
Now every son of a bitch
Is a snake in the grass
Whatever happened to class?

(Velma)
Class.

(Both)
Oh, there ain't no gentelmen to open up the doors,
There ain't no ladies now there's only pigs and whores
And even kids'll knock you down so's they can pass
Nobody's got no class!!!

(Velma)
Whatever happened to old values

(Mama)
And fine morals

(Velma)
And good breeding?

(Mama)
Now no-one even says oops
When they're passing their gas

(Both)
Whatever happened to class?
Class.
Oh, There ain't no gentelmen that's fit for any use,
And any girl will touch your privates for a deuce
And even kids'll kick your shins and give ya sass
Nobody's got no class!

(Velma)
All you read about today is rape and theft

(Mama)
Jesus Christ, ain't there no decency left?

(Both)
Nobody's got no class!

(Mama)
Every guy is a snot

(Velma)
Every girl is a twat

(Mama)
Holy shit

(Velma)
Holy shit

(Mama)
What a shame

(Velma)
What a shame

(Both)
What became of class?

 

Image635237782020842418The Verdict

We're back to the court case and Billy is doing his level best to sway the jury. He finishes his summation and then the jury is asked for the verdict. Just as it's about to be announced, shots ring out and a reporter rushes into the courtroom with the salacious news that there has been a mass shooting in the next court room and it's a great story. That leads the reporters to rush out forgetting Roxie's court case.

She's found not guilty and much to her dismay the dreams she's had for fame and fortune have evaporated. She asks what happened and they didn't want to take her picture.

Billy tells her that it's over and she's found not guilty. He doesn't care, he was in it for the money. He asks for his exit music and the band start up the song he was first introduced with and exits to applause from the audience.

Amos is waiting for Roxie and he still loves her and wants her and the baby back with him. Roxie lifts her dress and takes out the fake baby bump and throws it at him saying there was no baby. Amos is trying to get her attention but Roxie keeps repeating that the reporters didn't want her picture.

Amos finally gets it and asks for his exit music (there is none) and with a resigned 'okay' (and a lot of awwws from the audience) he leaves to the wild applause from the audience.

This is where Roxie realises that she has no future in show business and hugs the very deflated blow up doll that has been left up on the stage.

 

Nowadays by Roxie and Velma
Lucy and Amanda

 

Roxie starts singing the final song of the show "Nowadays." She looks up and there is Velma is a gorgeous purple dress. Lucy sings and comes to the centre of the stage while Amanda rushes out to change into her pink outfit that matches Lucy's purple dress.

1426486_10151977983714054_516593604_nChicago-31390750_10151977983964054_856474071_n

 

Instead of writing about the song, here's the video courtesy of TV3 News - in this clip Lucy and Amanda are wearing the outfits they wore during the first half of the show (and Amanda's stomach tattoo is a cross rather than a flower).

 

Image635237779046306662They come together at the end of the song and Wonder Woman and Katie come out with flowers. Velma thanks Wonder Woman and turns to the audience and thanks them for their support. It's what America stands for (? getting murderers off with the help of sleazy lawyers? <g>).

The audience goes wild as the music builds to a crescendo and the lights go out!

 

The audience gives the cast some love as they come out in turn. Here's a pic from Hannah's official facebook page on the final night. The cast thank the audience and the band and they leave.

Image635237783176201222

 

and that is it!


Chicago is a total blast and the entire cast were just superb. What a great bunch of talented performers. I thoroughly enjoyed watching them.

That's it from me! I hope you have enjoyed reading this very extensive review of this extraordinary production of Chicago!

Final thank you to :

Lucy Lawless-- Velma Kelly
Amanda Billing-- Roxie Hart
Shane Cortese-- Billy Flynn
Andrew Grainger-- Amos Hart
Colleen Davis-- Mama Morton
Sandra Rasmussen-- Tallulah
Hannah Tasker-Poland-- Liz/Foreman/Squaw/Fire Girl/Veronica
Lavinia Uhila-- Annie/Kitty/Reporter
Rebekkah Schoonbeek-- June/Wonder Woman/Reporter
Katie Swift-- Hunyak/Reporter/Chorus
Will Barling-- Mona/Reporter/Chorus
Stephen Butterworth -- Fogarty/Harrison/Clerk
Mike Edward -- Fred Casely/Harry/Aaron/Reporter
James Luck -- Bailiff/Judge

 

BAND
Stephen Thomas--Drums |
Brett Adams-Guitar
Jeff Henderson--Sax and others |
Cameron McArthur--Bass

It takes a lot of creative people to bring this brilliant show together and from Michael Hurst down, THANK YOU!

C R E AT I V E
Michael Hurst--Director |
Shona McCullagh--Choreographer
John Gibson-- Musical Director |
John Harding--Set Designer
Lesley Burkes-Harding--Costume Designer |
Sean Lynch--Lighting Designer
James Luck-- Dance Captain

PRODUCTION
Paul Nicoll--Technical & Production Manager
Fern Christie--Company Manager |
Chelsea Adams--Stage Manager
Natalie Braid--Assistant Stage Manager
Rachel Marlow--Lighting Operator |
Rory Maguire--Sound Engineer
Natasha Pearl--Props Master |
Petra Verweij--Costume Assistant
Marion Olsen + Jo Hawke--Costume Cutters
Sally Bourner--Costume Assistant Intern |
Minera Mallete--Machinist
Thomas Press--Flyman |
2Construct
--
Set Construction
Katrina Turkilsen--Intern Observing Operations

 

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