Tag Archives: Chicago

NEWS: Cast announcement for Chicago tour

David Ian in association with Barry and Fran Weissler have announced that West End and TV star Darren Day will play ‘Billy Flynn’ in the forthcoming UK and Ireland tour of the international musical sensation CHICAGO opening at the King’s Theatre, Glasgow on Saturday 11 September 2021. Darren joins the previously announced Faye Brookes as ‘Roxie Hart’, Sinitta as ‘Mama Morton’, Divina De Campo as ‘Mary Sunshine’, Djalenga Scott as ‘Velma Kelly’ and Joel Montague as ‘Amos Hart’.

The cast will also include Ishmail Aaron, Michelle Andrews, Gabby Antrobus, Delycia Belgrave, Joel Benjamin, Tanisha-Mae Brown, Daniel Clift, Callum Fitzgerald, Emily Goodenough, Billie Hardy, Aaron Jenkins, Liam Marcellino, Theo Reece, Hollie Jane Stephens and Harrison Wilde.

Darren Day’s many West End credits include the title role in Joseph and his Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat at the London Palladium, Tony Parker in Copacabana at the Prince of Wales Theatre, and Danny Zuko in Grease at the Cambridge Theatre. His UK touring theatre credits include the leading roles of Kashoggi in We Will Rock You, Frank n Furter in The Rocky Horror Show, Tick in Priscilla Queen of the Desert The Musical and Don in Summer Holiday. Darren’s numerous TV credits include Danny Houston in Hollyoaks, David Wilde in Doctors and Will Morgan in Stella. He was a contestant on the very first series of I’m A Celebrity Get Me Out of Here! and a finalist on Celebrity Big Brother.

Faye Brookes (Roxie Hart) recently reached the final of this year’s series of ITV’s Dancing On Ice. She is best known for her role as Kate Connor in ITV’s Coronation Street, for which she won a National Television Award. Her theatre credits include Princess Fiona in Shrek and Elle Woods in Legally Blonde, both on national tour, Ann/Edna in That Day We Sang directed by Victoria Wood at Manchester’s Royal Exchange, Liesl in The Sound of Music at Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre and Frenchy in Grease at the West End’s Piccadilly Theatre. Faye’s other TV credits include Agnes Franklin in Our Girl and Helena in Atlantis, both for the BBC.

Sinitta (Mama Morton) is an international recording artist having released 15 hit pop records including So Macho, Toyboy and Cross My Broken Heart. No stranger to the stage, she has appeared in the West End productions of Cats, Little Shop of Horrors, Hair, Smokey Joe’s Café and as the female lead in Mutiny! Since the mid-00s Sinitta has remained in the spotlight becoming a mentor to young emerging talent as Simon Cowell’s right-hand woman on The X Factor.

Divina De Campo (Mary Sunshine) is a seasoned British drag queen and singer who was recently crowned runner up on the first Series of RuPaul’s Drag Race UK. Known for her high soprano and four -octave range, Divina has been featured on ITV’s The Voice and the BBC’s All Together Now.

 Djalenga Scott’s (Velma Kelly) West End credits include Lily St Regis in Annie at the Piccadilly Theatre, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat at the New London and Chicago at the Adelphi, Cambridge and Garrick Theatres. Her other credits include Anita in the national tour of West Side Story, Rizzo in Grease at Curve Leicester, Magenta in The Rocky Horror Show and Carmen in Fame, both on European tours, the US tour of Batman Live and Bombalurina in Cats at Kilworth House. Djalenga’s screen credits include Scarlett/Esme in Trapped for the BBC and Alexandra in the film I Give It A Year.

Joel Montague (Amos Hart) most recently appeared as Ogie in the West End production of Waitress at the Adelphi Theatre and Mendel in Falsettos at The Other Palace. His many other West End credits include School of Rock at the New London Theatre, Funny Girl at the Savoy Theatre and Menier Chocolate Factory, Urinetown at the Apollo and St James Theatres and Billy Elliot at the Victoria Palace. His UK touring credits include Fat Friends The Musical, Sister Act The Musical, and Eddie and Dr. Scott in The Rocky Horror Show. He also played Gangster 2 in Kiss Me, Kate at the Sheffield Crucible and Nicely-Nicely Johnson in Guys and Dolls at the Theatre Marigny in Paris.

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 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.

Created by the musical theatre talents of John Kander, Fred Ebb and legendary choreographer Bob Fosse, CHICAGO’s sexy, sassy score includes the show-stopping songs “Razzle Dazzle”, “Cell Block Tango”, and “All That Jazz”.  Winner of six Tony Awards, two Olivier Awards and a Grammy, CHICAGO is the longest running American musical in Broadway and West End history.

Since it opened in New York in 1996, CHICAGO has played in 36 countries worldwide and has been performed in English, Dutch, German, Swedish, Spanish, Portuguese, Russian, Italian, French, Danish, Japanese and Korean.  Worldwide it has been seen by an estimated 33 million people, grossed over $1.7 billion and played over 32,500 performances.


King’s Theatre, Glasgow


REVIEW: Chicago – King’s Theatre, Glasgow

Inspired by the sensational crime stories she covered during the Prohibition Era for the Chicago Tribune, and in particular the trials of two real-life Jazz Babies accused of murdering their lovers: the much-married cabaret chanteuse Belva Gaertner (the inspiration for Velma Kelly) and Beulah Annan (Roxie Hart), Maurine Dallas Watkins wrote the 1926 play Chicago. Spawning a 1927 silent movie; a 1942 romantic comedy Roxie Hart; the 1975, Bob Fosse adapted stage musical and it’s record-breaking 1996 revivals in the West End and Broadway; and an Oscar-winning 2002 film. Little did she know that her gloriously acerbic observations would still have a life 90 years on. Its depressingly resonant critique of celebrity and the media, and its message that truth and justice don’t always prevail when you can get away with murder if you can simply “razzle-dazzle ’em”, is still a winner with audiences today.

David Ian and Michael Watt’s production is pared back and stripped to its bones. The 11-piece band is, as ever onstage throughout and the only decoration a smattering of chairs. The coal black costumes by William Ivey Long, from the 1996 revival are here but in need a refresh, looking a little dated. However, Ann Reinking’s adaptation of Bob Fosse’s original choreography is still pin-sharp and the jazz hands are still much in evidence, the ensemble’s execution is glorious, but the cramped staging, largely caused by the enormous box structure the band inhabits, inhibits the overall effect.

With such a minimalistic staging it’s down to the quality of the cast to carry the piece. Sophie Carmen-Jones (Velma Kelly) is the most successful among them, her take on the fame hungry femme fatale is beautifully judged and she possesses an excellent voice and impressive dancing skills. Hayley Tamaddon (Roxy Hart) while a fine singer, wrings every last ounce of comedy from a role that would have benefitted from a bit more light and shade and West End veteran and soap John Partridge as lawyer Billy Flynn, a man little bothered by his clients’ guilt or innocence, more by their ability to pay his $5000 fee, is suitably oily. Neil Ditt as put-upon husband Amos Hart and A. D. Richardson as journalist Mary Sunshine provide fine support.

This isn’t a production without its flaws, it stalls in too many parts to be truly knock-out, and there are periods when the interest wanes considerably. There’s also an overall feeling that it’s all a bit underpowered and lacking the requisite razzle dazzle. That said, it still entertains and the glorious score when belted out by the live band and the fabulous ensemble, is as always, a joy.

Runs until 24 September 2016 | Image: Catherine Ashmore

This article was originally written for and published by The Reviews Hub at: http://www.thereviewshub.com/chicago-kings-theatre-glasgow/