Example Of Essay On Theater Performance: Chicago
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I recently saw the stage production of the musical, Chicago. It was an incredible experience. I had heard of the production and the film but had never seen it or heard the music. I was quite surprised by the performance I attended. It was highly entertaining and enjoyable. The story of the play is how and why two flappers murder their husbands. The first, Velma Kelly is a singer and dancer who kills her husbands and dance partner/sister when she discovers them having an affair. Roxy Hart on the other hand is a housewife, who aspires to be a performer. She is having an affair and kills her lover. The women meet in jail.
The set was very simple for such a popular show. It consisted of a black staircase. It was the perfect vehicle for the opening sequence of a performance of “All That Jazz”. I expected it to eventually disappear, but it did not. It remained for almost the entire performance. The sets were very simple which emphasized the performances and actors. The jailhouse scene of the murderess utilized only a set of metal jailhouse doors which were not only the set but props for the dancers.
The costumes were also simple and elegant evoking the style of the 1920’s and the quintessential “flapper” that the main characters portrayed. The men were dressed in suits and ties of the era. The costumes, make-up and hair design were very authentic of the Roaring Twenties. The Merry Murderess scene was simplicity and power at its best. The women are dressed in basic black costumes that accentuate their bodies, this enabled them to dance fluidly.
The colors of the costumes represented the mood of ach scene. This was important due to the lack of sets. The finale where the main characters perform professionally as a team was well lit and the costumes bright and rich. This tells the audience that the women have achieved success in the theater.
The lighting and other production techniques were very simple like the costumes and the sets. The director sticks to the script and does not improvise, probably because this is the touring production of a Tony winning Broadway show that has years of proven experience behind it. The choreography is sexy and energetic. The dancers move with strength and perfect synchronicity.
The performers were incredibly talented, they were “triple threats”: they could sing, dance and act. I did not know any of the actors in this performance but I enjoyed all of their performances. The opening scene, “All That Jazz” kicks the musical off with strength and energy. The cast works very well together, the chorus as well as the principals. Throughout the performance they gave 100% to their acting, singing and dancing. The level of energy exuded by the cast were extremely high. They looked like they were enjoying themselves which engaged the audience and me.
The storyline was entertaining and kept the audience wondering what would happen to these two female criminals. Despite the fact that they murdered their husband or boyfriend, I was supporting them. I wanted them to be acquitted and set free. They had me convinced of their innocence in the way they related their stories and motivation. Each of the supporting cast members contributed to the overall plot in their performances of their role and their feeling of the situation.
What I have learned in this class has provided me with a more critical eye. Seeing a production like this, I appreciate the work that has been put into it. The manner in which each element of the production works together. When each element of a theatrical performance fits so well and comes together with excellent material, the producers have a hit. This was the case with Chicago.
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