ACT Theatre Reviews 2021-2022

CHICAGO High School Edition Director: Vicki Clarkson Musical Director: John Barry Choreography: Benjamin Carter. TEMPO Back in rehearsals this group had to cover the eventuality of a cast member going down with Covid. To do this another set of principals were rehearsed and would share the performance week. As I could only attend once, I would like to say congratulations to the other team. The High School Edition does not mean the audience will be missing out on those much-loved classic songs. Although it has had the risqué elements toned down; the core of the story has not been compromised. The set was simple, all in black, as were the costumes with just a smattering of period clothing. To accompany the “celebrity criminals” there was a fine band on stage. As the stage was bathed in a black hue, lighting had a greater job of creating the entire atmosphere. James Merrington’s lighting design did just that, and DG Sound design balanced the music and vocals allowing Kander and Ebb’s score and lyrics to be enjoyed. The director extracted all the dark humour allowing the cast to play to their strengths; there was no rehashing of what had gone before. Choreography was true to the 1920’s hedonistic Chicago, whilst incorporating the Bob Fosse signature movement. Musically, from the opening, it set the bar for the rest of the show and meant the audience would knew that they were in for something special. The creative team created a powerful production. There was not a weak link on stage: the ensemble engaged the audience and all the other characters added to the drama. There are two leading ladies, two leading men and not forgetting in support, the sassy Mama Morton. Ruby Thake gave strong interpretation of the jailhouse Matron