Chicago, Theatre Preview. Empire Theatre, Liverpool. Monday 2nd July-Saturday 7th July 2012
Based on real life events in the era of the roaring 20’s, nightclub singer Roxie Hart shoots her lover, tries desperately to get her hapless and unwitting husband Amos to take the punishment and when that fails, finds herself fighting for her life along with Cell Block rival Velma Kelly in a tale of lawyer double talk and smooth dance moves.
The show stars Ali Bastian as Roxie Hart, Stefan Booth as Billy Flynn, Tupele Dorgu as Velma Kelly and Bernie Nolan as the imposing Cook County jail warden, Mama Morton.
Ali Bastian is a regular fixture on British television screen having played Becca in Hollyoaks and Sally Armstrong in the police drama The Bill. In 2009, Ali competed in the B.B.C’s Strictly Come Dancing where she reached the semi-finals. Tupele Dorgu will be familiar to television audiences as machine operator Kelly Crabtree from the soap opera Coronation Street and her other roles in Waterloo Road and Casualty.
Bernie Nolan needs no introduction, as lead singer with The Nolans from 1974 to 1994, she enjoyed, along with her sisters, phenomenal success both at home and abroad. Bernie has toured the U.K. many times, most recently as Cora in the fantastic Calendar Girls, Hannah Owens in Flashdance and Mrs Johnstone in Blood Brothers.
Chicago opened at the Adelphi Theatre in London in 1997 to rave reviews, winning the 1998 Laurence Olivier Award for “Outstanding Musical Production” it shows no sign of becoming dated, instead it goes from strength to strength with each passing U.K. tour.
Chicago, like the Rocky Horror and Grease productions is one of the rare moments in the city’s theatre calendar that screams for the chance to dress up in the best 1920’s finery you can get your hands on and sing along and be spellbound by songs such as Cell Block Tango, When You’re Good to Mama and the lament of Mister Cellophane. Chicago is an evening not to be missed.
Tickets for Chicago are on sale now and are priced from £10 to £32.50. Tickets are available from the Empire Theatre Box-office, on 0844 8713017 or book online at www.atg.com/liverpoolempire
Ian D. Hall