The multi-award-winning, record-breaking musical CHICAGO is Melbourne’s must-see Summer Musical! Produced in Australia by John Frost and Suzanne Jones, this Australian production will be playing at the State Theatre, Arts Centre Melbourne until February 23rd.
The sassy musical stars some of Australia’s most talented performers and many from our hometown, Melbourne. Starring as the irreverent and determined Roxie Hart, is one of our most versatile entertainers, Natalie Bassingthwaighte. Natalie holds Chicago the musical close to her heart, having first appeared in the production in 2002. Nat says, “playing Roxie has been thrilling, exciting and challenging and I feel motivated every night when I come to rehearsals with this cast, they are phenomenal. It’s been the most beautiful working environment and I’m inspired every day”.
Roxy is joined on stage by the empowered and glamorous Velma Kelly, played by theatre star Alinta Chidzey. Alinta says, “it’s a wonderful role and I’m very excited to bring it and open it in Melbourne”.
Much adored Casey Donovan plays the tough and sassy prison warden Matron ‘Mama’ Morton, and can I say having seen the production get ready to be blown away by Casey’s performance, it left the audience truly captivated.
Playing the role of the cunning and charismatic lawyer Billy Flynn in Melbourne will be Australian superstar Jason Donovan.
Jason is one of Melbourne’s most well-known and loved stars who made his television debut at the age of 11 in 1980, and in 1986 was cast for one of our most successful television soaps ‘Neighbours’ playing the part of ‘Scott Robinson’. Jason says, “most would know my dad first played the role of Billy Flynn back in the ’80s for the Sydney theatre company. I remember watching it from a box about 50 to 60 times, I think. Today I rode in thinking wow I’m doing it and I’m truly honoured”.
Starring alongside this star-studded cast is musical theatre stalwart Rodney Dobson playing Roxie’s charming and vulnerable husband Amos Hart and J. Furtado as gossip hound Mary Sunshine. The wonderful ensemble cast includes Amy Berrisford, Andrew Cook, Todd Dewberry, Samantha Dodemaide, Ben Gillespie, Chaska Halliday, Travis Khan, Hayley Martin, Kristina McNamara, Joe Meldrum, Tom New, Jessica Vellucci, Romina Villafranca, Rachael Ward, Zachary Webster and Mitchell Woodcock. Further cast will be announced soon.
Set amidst the razzle-dazzle decadence of the 1920s, CHICAGO is the story of Roxie Hart, a housewife and nightclub dancer who murders her on-the-side lover after he threatens to walk out on her. Desperate to avoid conviction, she dupes the public, the media and her rival cellmate, Velma Kelly, by hiring Chicago’s slickest criminal lawyer Billy Flynn to transform her malicious crime into a barrage of sensational headlines, the likes of which might just as easily be ripped from today’s tabloids.
CHICAGO, which is based on the 1926 play by Maurine Dallas Watkins, has a legendary book by Fred Ebb and Bob Fosse, music by John Kander and lyrics by Fred Ebb. The 1996 Broadway revival of CHICAGO is choreographed by Tony Award-winning Ann Reinking in the style of Bob Fosse and is directed by Tony Award winner Walter Bobbie. CHICAGO features set design by John Lee Beatty, costume design by William Ivey Long, lighting design by Tony Award winner Ken Billington, and sound design by Scott Lehrer.
Whether you’re looking for your first Broadway musical, whether you’ve seen the Academy Award®-winning film and want to experience the show live on stage, whether you’ve seen it before and want to recapture the magic or whether you are after a perfect night of pure entertainment, CHICAGO always delivers.
Opening Night Melbourne 19/12/2019
State Theatre, Arts Centre Melbourne until February 23
CHICAGOTHEMUSICAL.COM.AU @ChicagoInAU #ChicagoInAU
Written by Melinda Sullivan