‘Chicago’ is a 1970s musical that falls into the category of Broadway classic. Set in Chicago and featuring jazz style music originally choreographed by Bob Fosse, ‘Chicago’ is based on a play of the same name by a reporter by the name of Maurine Dallas Watkins who wrote about actual criminals and true crimes which she researched and reported on. The musical is a satire that plays with scandal, the concept of a “celebrity criminal” and approaches the idea of administrative corruption in prisons during the jazz age. The original Broadway production ran for 936 performances and original West End production ran for 600 performances, but it was because of the revivals of both productions that the show really became famous. People enjoyed the dark, comedy musical so much that in 2002 a film adaptation was released starring Renée Zellweger, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Richard Gere and Queen Latifah.
Set in the roaring 20s, in the city of the same name, ‘Chicago’ tells the story of two rival murderesses locked up in Cook County Jail fighting for the position of “biggest celebrity” and trying to stay most relevant in the public eye. Velma is a former nightclub star who is serving time for murdering her sister and her husband after catching them mid-affair and Roxie is a chorus girl determined to be famous who was arrested for killing the man she was cheating on her husband with. Both await their trials when Velma enlists the help of a lawyer by the name of Billy Flynn, a smooth-talker with a talent of spinning a bad story into good press. With the aim of avoiding death row, they plan to create a media frenzy and stage the showbiz comeback of the century, however, Roxie isn’t going down without a fight…
‘Chicago’ contains some of the most well-known songs within the musical theatre community. This pin is inspired by the song ‘Cell Block Tango’ in which some of the fellow prisoners are explaining how they ended up incarcerated. Throughout the verses they unashamedly tell their stories, believing that their crimes were justified. Each of these murder suspects have a particular word that punctuates the song (Pop! Six! Squish! Uh-uh! Cicero! Lipschitz!) that also describes the murder that they have been accused of. Using glitter, the red and black associated with the musical and a design inspired by the famous staging of this song, we could think of nothing better to capture the essence of the ‘Cell Block Tango’ and of ‘Chicago’ as a whole!
You can find out more about the show and the various worldwide productions at https://chicagothemusical.com/