I visited New York for the first time in 2003 and stayed at the Time Hotel, which was located directly across from the Ambassador Theater where Chicago the musical was playing. Ten years later, this staple show still remains at the same place and I finally got the opportunity to see this classic story live on stage.
Look at any list of the most popular shows currently on Broadway, and one will notice that this show usually doesn’t make it on the top five; sometimes it may linger or hang on by a thread by being somewhere in the top 10 or even in the top 20. After all, there are newer shows that are more in-demand, but Chicago still continues to bring in the crowds and sell out shows night after night. It may not be at the very top of the “must-see” list, but it’s still on it.
Chicago tells the story of love, betrayal, murder, jazz and liquor, all set in the 1920s. The cast was made up of talented performers, including Paige Davis as Roxie Hart and Amra-Faye Wright as Velma Kelly. Davis is in every way a complete doppelgänger for Catherine Zeta Jones’ rendition of Velma Kelly in the 2002 film remake of the 1927 classic, which was a bit distracting at times. Nonetheless, she did a great job at bringing Hart’s character to life on stage.
The best act of the show was Davis’s and Alexander Gemignani’s performance of “We Both Reached for the Gun.” Dare I say that these two were even more synchronized and put on a better act than Richard Gere and Renée Zellweger did in the 2002 film? Some may disagree, but no one can deny that is an impressive act. Following closely for my second favorite act of the evening was the “Cell Block Tango.” I also really enjoyed Paul C. Vogt as Amos Hart, and his performance of “Mister Cellophane” was highly entertaining.
So would I recommend it? Let’s just say this: any musical that still leaves you singing the songs around your home days later (resulting in your dogs looking at you like you’re crazy) obviously leaves a long-lasting impression, and in a good way.
The Ambassador Theater is a bit small; it is a lot smaller than a lot of the other theaters on Broadway, but I think this can be a good thing. If budgeting and availability permits you to to choose orchestra seating, select something that’s front and center. Otherwise, I have to strongly insist that the other seats are not worth the cost because of seating layout and your view will likely be obstructed. Instead, opt for front row center on the mezzanine level, which gives you a perfect view of everything. Other mezzanine seats will be close (or even identical) in pricing, and you won’t be able to see much at all. You may also be able to score a great deal for a matinee, especially during the week.
Buying Your Tickets
If you’ll be visiting New York and want to see Chicago on Broadway, Ticket Liquidator is a terrific source for finding all upcoming show tickets.
While You’re in New York City
If you’ll be visiting New York, we highly recommend the New York Pass if you’ll be visiting the areas top tourist attractions. This one pass gets you access to more than 80 attractions in the city, and saves you a lot of money overall. There are also a lot of other perks of having this pass, including Fast Track entry. Learn more about and purchase the New York Pass on their official website.