West End Production of Chicago Bids Farewell to the Razzle Dazzle Sept. 1
By Mark Shenton
Chicago, the West End's longest-ever running revival, shutters Sept. 1 after a run of 15 years. It is currently playing at the Garrick, its third London house after originally opening at the Adelphi and subsequently moving to the Cambridge.
In a press statement when the closure was first announced in July, Barry Weissler (who co-produced the show with his wife Fran Weissler) commented, "Bringing Chicago to the West End was a pivotal moment in Fran's and my career. Running 15 years has been a dream come true. We may be taking our 'parting shots' for now, but the Razzle Dazzle will never fade!"
Composer John Kander added, "What a great experience this has been. The fact that the London audience has embraced our show for 15 years fills me with gratitude and pride. Thank you all for your warmth and enthusiasm."
The production originally opened at the West End's Adelphi Theatre Nov. 18, 1997, going on to win the 1998 Laurence Olivier Award for Outstanding Musical Production and the 1998 Critics' Circle Theatre Award for Best Musical. It subsequently transferred to the Cambridge in April 2006, running for five years, before moving to its current home at the Garrick in November 2011.
The original cast of the London production starred Ruthie Henshall, Ute Lemper, Henry Goodman and Nigel Planer. Amongst the roll call of stars who have appeared in it during its 15-year run have been Alison Moyet, America Ferrera, Anita Dobson, Aoife Mulholland, Ashlee Simpson, Bonnie Langford, Brooke Shields, Chita Rivera, Christie Brinkley, Claire Sweeney, Clive Rowe, Darius Danesh, David Hasselhoff, Denise Van Outen, Gaby Roslin, Ian Kelsey, Jennifer Ellison, Jill Halfpenny, Joel Grey, John Barrowman, Kelly Osbourne, Kevin Richardson, Leigh Zimmerman, Les Dennis, Lynda Carter, Maria Friedman, Marti Pellow, Michael French, Michael Greco, Michelle Williams, Peter Davison, Raza Jaffrey, Sacha Distel, Tina Arena and Tony Hadley.
The current cast is led by Sarah Soetaert as Roxie Hart and Rachel McDowall as Velma Kelly with Tony Timberlake as Amos Hart, Jasna Ivir as Matron "Mama" Morton and Robin Cousins as Billy Flynn. Cousins is a former Olympics ice-skating champion, who became the first Olympian ever to appear in a theatre production in the home town of the Olympics during the Olympics.
To book tickets, contact the box office on 0844 482 9673, or visit www.chicagothemusical.co.uk for more details.
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