Chicago the Musical

Our readers meet the cast of Chicago.

Our recent Readers’ Night was a trip to see Chicago in London. Read on to find out if Fiona Horan was razzle dazzled  by the show.

GTOs meet Alexandra Burke.

In early September, 40 GTO magazine readers and myself entered the seedy and glamorous world of Jazz Age Chicago, courtesy of Encore Tickets and the Phoenix Theatre in Charing Cross Road, London.

Chicago the Musical first opened in 1975. It is based on a satirical play from 1926 by a female journalist who observed, at first hand, the salacious media attention given to several cases of women murdering their lovers – most of whom were acquitted and treated as celebrities and alluring femme fatales. In Chicago murder can make you a star and the legal system is just another branch of showbusiness. This is quite explicit in the music hall style of many of the songs and in the starry pizzazz of top-notch smooth-tongued defence lawyer Billy Flynn.

The staging of this revival works a treat. I loved having the small orchestra on stage behind the performers as it helped to create a more intimate cabaret club atmosphere and allowed the musicians to interact with parts of the show. It added to the warmth of this particular production – something I felt was missing when I saw a previous version of this musical.

A scene from Chicago The Musical @ Phoenix Theatre, London.

We were lucky enough to see Alexandra Burke, Josefina Gabrielle and Chris Warner Drake as the three leads. They were superb, as were all the cast. The singing in particular was impressive, the songs were catchy and clever, and the show is often very funny.

The cast all kindly joined us after the performance and I’d like to thank them, Encore and the theatre staff for making our visit so enjoyable. If you want to see this brilliant revival, you need to get your skates on as it is only a limited run until 5th January. For tickets, visit

“Chicago’s welcome return to the West End marks its 21st anniversary since it came back to Broadway and London’s West End. An all-time favourite for groups, it should be on all GTOs lists of shows not to be missed!” 
–  Sergio Cicalò, Senior Trade Sales Manager, Encore.

“The show surpassed terrific – absolutely spot-on performances, singing and dancing. The principals were all excellent – as were the rest of the cast – all so slick, so sharp, so tight in every movement. I didn’t dare blink for fear of
missing something!”
Diana – Kenton & District U3A

“An excellent production- pacy and well performed by a brilliant cast with a wonderful buzz and energy.”
Brian – Crescent Associates

“What a fabulous show! The choreography, singing and acting skills of the cast were second to none and Alexandra Burke stole the show with her cheeky role as Roxy! The music was superb and the interaction between the band and the cast was infectious leading to even greater audience involvement and appreciation.”
Amanda – Gloucestershire U3A

“The production was very energetic and full of humour. It was great having the orchestra in full view as they very much played to the audience. A fantastic and most enjoyable evening”
Sue – Storrington DFAS