A sordid tale of murder, scandal and celebrity, few Broadway shows make for a sexier night on the town than Chicago. Based on real events of the roaring American ’20s, the musical follows the cautionary tales of Roxie Hart and Velma Kelly, each of whom murders her lover in pursuit of becoming famous in the press and, just as importantly, one-upping the other. In accordance with the two anti-heroines’ aspirations of vaudevillians, lyricist Fred Ebb composed the music of the show in a vaudeville style when preparing the original production in 1975. The result was such iconic musical theatre tunes such as “All That Jazz,” “Cell Block Tango” and “Roxie.” Portraying one of the most glamorous eras in U.S. history—and perhaps its most short-lived—Chicago has proven to be truly timeless.
Audiences agree: Now in its 21st consecutive year on Broadway, Chicago holds the record as the longest-running American musical in Broadway history, and the second-longest running Broadway show period, second to only The Phantom of the Opera. The revival has been a critical darling since opening in 1996, winning a then-record six Tony Awards and earning strong reviews to this day. “You know a musical is intelligent, witty and connivingly devilish when its choicest songs about press manipulation, betrayal and selfishness could feel equally at home either on the Broadway stage or in any of the Presidential campaign trails in this election year,” Philip David Morton wrote in a 2016 review for the Huffington Post. The current cast stars Bianca Marroquin (In the Heights) as Roxie Hart, Amra-Faye Wright (who has played opposite over 20 Roxie Harts) as Velma Kelly and Billy Flynn (On The Town) as their shared lawyer, Tony Yazbeck.