9th, DEC, 2007

The story of Chicago is a  on  in the administration of .This musical comes from the book Chicago which was written by Fred Ebb and Bob Fosse. In 1920s America many people became alcohol dependant and the level of alcoholism rose tremendously. During this time, crime increased sharply and the society wasn’t as safe as before. Furthermore, some politicians were linked to the gangs. In order to get more money, they cooperated with each other.  Some American cities became centers of crime, cities such as Chicago, New York and Boston. Due to alcohol addiction, crime increased and some people killed others without conscious. In the 1920s, people neglected the law and did not respect it, in their eyes, the police and government meant nothing. However, the officers in the government were very corrupt, they did not do their responsibilities well, and they just wanted to use this environment to get more money. As it can be seen, in this period, the whole American was queasy. This musical uses a symbolic and satiric way to expose the American society in 1920s

A. Now I am going to discuss the set and costume design.

  1. In the musical, there are two ladders on the stage, one is on downstage left, the other is downstage right, but actors just use them in some short scene. When Roxie and Kelly singing on the ladders in different scene (Roxie was on right one and Kelly was on left one), they looked like more powerful than they were on the stage. I think they want to be concentrated on as well, when they on the ladders, they were shinning, whereas surroundings were dark, so audience would focus on them.
  2. The orchestra became part of musical, they have fixed position on the stage. Sometimes, conductor and musicians took part in the show. Their order looked like steps, and the steps could be used by actors as well and they offered different levels for actors, although they small. They were entrances and exits, including trap door and traditional device.
  3. Lighting plays a significant role in during the whole show and it helped actors communicate with audience. Different colors used in different scenes: Red was used for murder, because red seems to represent blood and crime. The mix of red, yellow and blue was used to brighten the stage for ‘A little bit of Good’. Then the yellow foot lights for count scene, the lighting came from the ground, it made actors’ faces solid and serious. From this kind of lighting, audience can understand this is a court now. Actually, all lightings are very artificial, but they can help audience to know what is going on now. So lighting is very important in the show.
  4. Costume: every actor has own basic costume, in this musical, Roxie changed her shoes twice, the same with Kelly. Their skirts were short so that they looked sexy. Roxie’s wig hair looked 1920. All costumes of actors are almost black, so I think it may symbolize Chicago in 1920 was a criminal world.
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B. Actors and Audience Relationship

1. At the beginning of the show, an announcer established the direct relationship between audience and performers. Actually, during the show, announce appeared many times, but announcers were played by performers, there was no an immovable person to be the announcer.

2. In order to communicate with audience, performers always face the audience. Although they were talking with each other, their faces ...

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