“Chicago” 1975 commercial…

14 Jun

I stumbled upon this treat on YouTube, which made my day.

This is a commercial promoting the original Broadway production of “Chicago” from 1975. Stars Gwen Verdon and Chita Rivera don’t appear (which I have to think was intentional) but you get a revealing look at the dancers. I use the word “revealing” not just in the wardrobe (or lack thereof) sense but in the glimpse we get at the overt “seediness” of the show. Guy I knew years ago objected to the 1996 revival because he believed what he called the “Victoria’s Secret costumes” removed the show visually from the period, which is thematically critical. I obviously and most regrettably never saw the original but I do agree that the 1920s and vaudeville are major characters. I also think it was bold of Verdon to really play to the “over-the-hill” aspect of Roxie. I’ve seen stills of her in outfits that are clearly not meant to be flattering.

You also see Bob Fosse’s choreography. Ann Reinking did a great homage to it in the revival but Fosse is much more controlled (imagine the slow movement on one thumb compared to an entire arm).

I shall remain giddy over this find for at least a few days. I’ve mentioned many times before that “Chicago” is my favorite musical — searingly funny book, amazing dance numbers, and not a bad song from start (“All That Jazz”) to finish (“Nowadays”). “All I Need Is the Girl” is one of my favorite songs but out of context, the average person wouldn’t know it’s from “Gypsy.” “Razzle Dazzle” and “Mister Cellophane” are instantly recognizable as from “Chicago” and they’re just from the male leads!

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Posted by on June 14, 2012 in Pop Life


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