Chicago – A Successfully Revived Musical about Crime and the Media

Chicago pic
Chicago
Image: chicagothemusical.com

Joann Baney is an experienced New York consultant who guides Professional Development Company, Inc., and teaches at the Columbia University School of International and Public Affairs. Outside of work, Joann Baney is an avid theatergoer who enjoys Broadway plays and musical productions. She has appeared in off-Broadway shows, including revivals of Damn Yankees and Kiss Me, Kate.

One of the most successful revivals of the past two decades has been that of Chicago, which is set in the Prohibition era and was originally directed Bob Fosse in 1975. The groundbreaking musical payed homage to Brecht and Weill’s Threepenny Opera and provided a scathing look at the dark side of a media-saturated world. Set in a world of crooked attorneys and a public that craved scandal at all costs, the show examined the way in which criminals were turned into celebrities. Described by the director as a response to the Watergate scandal and the public disillusionment that followed.

In 1996, Walter Bobbie led a critically acclaimed revival of the show, accenting its brassy combination of dance and catchy songs. Inspiring a hugely successful film adaptation, which took home several Oscars, the Chicago production became the longest-running Broadway revival ever.

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