Chicago - how true to the stage show?

Discussion in 'Movies' started by andrew markworthy, Aug 11, 2003.

  1. andrew markworthy

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    This is a really naive question, but could someone who has seen the stage show and the movie please tell me how the movie differs from the stage show? Not in great detail, but is everything in the stage show presented as a fantasy of Roxie's?
     
  2. David Williams

    David Williams Cinematographer

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  3. RafaelB

    RafaelB Second Unit

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    Roxie and Velma are also a little less-likable in the show, but that doesn't make the show any less enjoyable. [​IMG]

    COnceptually, the show is similar to the movie in that each musical number is set up as a vaudeville act, much like Roxie's fantasies in the film, with the story to bridge the numbers in the show.

    I hope this makes sense.

    Rafael
     
  4. Cameron Yee

    Cameron Yee Executive Producer
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    I have not seen the Broadway show, but I have the Broadway cast recording with Bebe Neuwirth and Anne Reinking. My impression is the movie tended to up the tempo for most of the songs, creating more energy. People who have SEEN the Broadway show might have a different opinion.
     
  5. Dick

    Dick Producer
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    My understanding is that most (or all) of Bob Fosse's original choreography was deep-sixed and re-staged by Rob Marshall.
     
  6. Sean Laughter

    Sean Laughter Screenwriter

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    I'm not sure how much of the revival's choreography was actual Fosse choreography, as Ann Reinking choreographed it, but she did it "in the style of Bob Fosse," which is obviously true.

    With Cabaret and Chicago I've always felt they were shows really defined as much by Fosse as by Kander & Ebb (My only exposure to Cabaret, aside from a college production I saw, has been the movie).

    The stage production of Chicago (particularly the revival) has a definate look and feel that I just really love, due in no small part to the Fosse-esque motion up on stage, but also due to the "concert" look of the piece, which makes the movie a bit too "produced" for my taste, simply due to my past exposure to the show. Still liked the movie, they are just two very different animals.

    Of course, I also find going to see a production of the Chicago revival a rather risky venture, one of the touring companies I saw was pretty much atrocious.
     
  7. andrew markworthy

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    Many thanks for the info, folks.
     
  8. Luis Esp

    Luis Esp Supporting Actor

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    The show is definitely sexier than the film.

    I just wished more songs from the show had been reworked and included in the film.
     
  9. Brian Kidd

    Brian Kidd Screenwriter
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    I think I'm one of the rare people who enjoyed the film MUCH more than the stage show. I found the script to the play to be disjointed and poorly-written. I also found the "bare stage" set concept of the new production to be a copout. Dull dull dull.

    The movie, on the other hand, excited me more than most films have in a long time. It was flashy, smart, and well directed and acted.
     
  10. Sean Laughter

    Sean Laughter Screenwriter

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    Well, the set concept isn't so much a copout as it is a result of the process the revival took to get to the stage. It started out as a single performance "recital" show of the musical and the design concept sprung from there, on up to the jury box look of the orchestra pit.

    Of course, I'm more partial to more "stage-centric" productions like that mainly because there are enough musicals and stage shows that just try to be live-movies or live-TV rather than embracing what is different about a live theatrical show. Of course, I guess I shouldn't talk too much because I was really miffed a few years ago when all of these purely "dance" shows walked away with Tony's in all the musical categories, and I was like, "that stuff is soooo not a musical."

    Anyway, in the end it really is the Fosse influence that I miss most about the movie, that's what really gives the show alot of the sex appeal, along with all that sleak black [​IMG]
     
  11. Edwin Pereyra

    Edwin Pereyra Producer

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    Having just seen the stage show on Broadway, I'll have to say that I liked the film better. The show was very basic and simple - no set design, no set changes and little to no costume changes.

    For me, what makes a Broadway musical shine is its staging element. Just look at Sunset Boulevard.

    Actually, the bare stage concept works much better for Fosse than it does for Chicago. Oh well, I guess, different strokes for different folks.

    ~Edwin
     
  12. Sean Laughter

    Sean Laughter Screenwriter

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  13. Edwin Pereyra

    Edwin Pereyra Producer

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  14. Sean Laughter

    Sean Laughter Screenwriter

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  15. Tino

    Tino Lead Actor
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    Hey Edwin, that's a coincidence, I just saw the Broadway play too![​IMG]

    I must agree with Edwin in that I felt that the film was much more entertaining than the show. The film expanded upon the show, giving it more color excitement and life. The film felt "big" while the show felt "small".

    Don't get me wrong, I enjoyed the Broadway production, I merely thought the film was superior.
     

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