The hit Broadway musical Chicago is coming to Melbourne's Her Majesty's Theatre on July 4, 1998.
Auditions, conducted by the Broadway Production Supervisor Scott Faris and Assistant Choreographer Deb Waters, are being held to select the cast of 25. Final auditions will be conducted by Broadway director Walter Bobbie, who will direct the Australian production, accompanied by choreographer Ann Reinking and Musical Supervisor Rob Fisher.
There was pressure to open Chicago first in Sydney, but it was decided that Melbourne had the audience for the musical. Her Majesty's Theatre is the ideal setting--it was built around the time the musical is set in and has a tradition of staging successful musicals.
The Melbourne launch of Chicago was held in the Old Melbourne Gaol and Jeff Kennett MLA,the Premier of the State of Victoria, and Joel Grey from the Broadway production, attended. Kennett said that Melbourne is about to see another period in which the theatres will be full again.
David Atkins, managing director of David Atkins Enterprises, Chicago co- producer and promoter, said "Research shows that Chicago reaches an audience unaccustomed to going to the theatre. It's partly the design: edgy, black and brilliant, and partly the cynicism. Chicago is art imitating life. It was created at the time of Watergate and since then with trials like O.J. and the Menendez brothers, this musical fantasy has been seen to be all too real. The Twenty Somethings can relate to that. But as a director and choreographer I particularly like the third ingredient. That unique Broadway flavour. As Time Magazine put it: The show may answer several questions for younger theatregoers curious about Broadway's past. For example: what was choreography." Chicago the winner of six Tony Awards, is set to open in July to warm up the middle of a Melbourne winter (which actually does not hinder Melbourne's theatre audiences). Bookings are not yet open but we will keep you posted.