A&E / Archive

Media Theater’s Chicago

As the curtain rises at the Media Theater, Delaware County’s only professional theater, you will immediately be entranced by the glitz and glam of flapper dresses and fishnets of 1920’s Chicago. The accuracy of the costumes and sets send you straight back to a time where women were on the rise with risqué clothing, edgy hairstyles and enough red lip stick to write the whole musical score. It was apparent from the opening scene into “All That Jazz” that director Jennie Eisenhower and current Broadway performer-choreographer Jenn Rose worked well in blending their collaborative vision for the show into one precise, detailed image, exceeding the qualifications for this hit musical.

The highly anticipated performance of first season American Idol runner up Justin Guarini was sure to live up to the media buzz when almost flawlessly embodying the charming Billy Flynn. Guarini is effortless under the lights of Media’s stage and easily surpasses expectations for Flynn’s character while clearly displaying his role in the cast as an undeniable triple threat. Alicia Jayne Kelly as Roxie Hart and Hillary Elliot as Velma Kelly did well in complimenting one another as mirror characters and had obvious chemistry; this made their energizing dynamic a thrill to watch. Their skilled dance moves showed apparent training and vocal expertise was highlighted most during “Roxie” and “Cell Block Tango”. The ensemble pulled together during numbers such as “They both reached for the gun” and “When Velma takes the stand” proving themselves respectable musical performers striving for impeccable detail. The only critique was regarding balance of the cast. In most cases, the talent of the girls undoubtedly outweighed the strength of the guys.

In conclusion, if you are looking for a tasteful, creative, new adaptation of a popular musical such as “Chicago” Media Theater’s cast is sure to transport you into the roaring twenties with passion and flare theater lovers live for. The authenticity of this cast will have you walking out of the lobby snapping and humming the blues and the unique performance will leave you begging for more. Though the questionable content in “Chicago” is normally only suggested for adults, the sophistication in which the show was crafted makes it appropriate for the whole family.

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