Here at HJ we love a front seat to a classic show, so we made…
Yes, Chicago the musical came back to the Mzansi stage, but actor South African Craig Urbani made the biggest comeback of the day.
Well, my fellow thespian fans, let me call a spade a razzle dazzle and tell you upfront that the most recent run of Chicago the musical at The Teatro certainly didn’t disappoint. The choreography, music and costumes brought the story of murder, greed, corruption, exploitation, adultery and treachery to life with a serious bang and dash of laughter.
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With a slightly different stage arrangement with the band taking centre stage this time around, the show left little room for the performers to flap and sway. Perhaps strange at first for theatre traditionalists, but the composition truly made the soundtrack the hero of the show, forcing the performers to get creative and go big or go home – and big they went! Award-winning musical director Bryan Schimmel (Jersey Boys, Annie, Priscilla Queen of the Desert) lead the 11-piece orchestra like the musical magician that he is, interacting with the cast seamlessly and playfully.
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We must tip our hats off to comeback kid Craig Urbani, who took the lead as ruthless lawyer Bill Flynn. The actor shot to fame playing musical prodigy Buddy Holly at home and then on London’s West End. He then went on to play Alec Matthews in Isidingo followed by a decade-long hiatus from the stage due to his battle with alcohol. Since playing this role 10 years ago, Urbani has completely turned his life around.
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Other great performances included Samantha Peo (Cabaret, West Side Story, Strictly Come Dancing) as Velma Kelly and Ilse Klink (Mamma Mia!, Show Boat, Isidingo) as Matron ‘Mama’ Morton.
Well-cast, slick and sexy, Chicago can come back any day!
Hello Joburg was first published in April 1980 as a monthly restaurant and entertainment magazine. Over the years we have developed a network of patriotic Joburgers that love nothing more than sharing their experiences in this beautiful city!