Choose Your First Broadway Musical


Walking through the time square to broad way, you can just distinguish certain theaters because they decorate their buildings with all the brochures. The Ambassador Theater is also one of them. It is on 49th Street and Broadway and the musical Chicago started and has been played there since 1996.

Many people know two women characters in this musical. Since they have been loved so much, you might know their name Velma Kelly and Roxie Hart’s. They are murderers who killed their lovers and they are in the same jail. This musical is a story about these two women trying to get out of the jail. The way they get innocent judgement represents the corruption of Chicago in the mid-1920s.

When you first get into this theater, you might be surprised of its small stage. I expected it to be much bigger because it is a popular broad way show. Besides, the orchestra are in the middle of the stage so that it looks much smaller. The stage where actors could stay is only a short front stage and narrow side aisles. I wondered how this musical would use this space. However, thanks to its small stage, this show never used space uselessly. They fully used the stage. They put ladders on each sides and they used two side aisles for actors who were not in story. The actors barely went into the backstage, instead, they sat on the chairs in the side aisles and added their voices to the songs. Also, they used the orchestra space as an acting place. In the middle of the orchestra was the path where actors go in and out. The stage of the Chicago looked too small at first, but the musical used their space fully so that audience could concentrate more. Just looking at the stage interested me.

The most impressive thing of the Chicago is the costumes actors wear. They wear something like underwear. I mean they don’t wear clothes that cover their bodies. At first, I was so surprised. Then, I wondered why they wore that and what did they intend by their clothes. After watching the musical for a while, I could relate the reason easily to the topic of this musical, the corruption and the satire of the reality.

Also, it’s important not to miss the lyrics. They are hilarious, decadent, and ironical. One of the popular songs in Chicago, “Cell Block Tango”, is the great example of ironical, decadent, and hilarious lyrics. For example, instead of “I stabbed him ten times”, the girl says “He ran into my knife. He ran into my knife tem times. ” Isn’t it hilarious, ironical, and decadent? The Chicago has a lot of lyrics and stories that are ironical. Those parts maximize the stream of this musical, the corruption and the satire of the reality.

The costumes, music, dance, and lyrics are elements that are set to convey the message this musical has. Focusing on these elements will lead you to the understanding of this musical.

Compared to other broad way musicals, the Chicago has a really nice movie. Of course, this movie is based on the musical, so, the movie and the musical have same storyline and songs. However, you can definitely tell that there are differences. At first, the songs are felt different in the theater and in the movie. Even though they are the same songs, listening to the audio and to the voice of human are different. As a result, some might be disappointed and some might be touched because of this difference. I don’t know how you will feel this musical, so I want you not to watch this musical wearing the glass of movie. One of the audience (Wynchelle Manalili, Senior, a Health Science major) who is also a Mercy student said “Being a fan of the movie I was really excited to watch it in Broad way. And it didn’t disappoint all me at. It was entertaining which made experience different kinds of emotions. It’s definitely worth watching.” There are a lot of fans of the movie who go to see this musical. The musical Chicago will not disappoint them. But, I want to recommend them to think that they are in Broad way as Wynchelle did. Knowing and loving the movie is good but being caught to the movie is not good. Go there as if the Chicago is new to you. Surprise whenever astonishing lyrics and songs come out. Also, I recommend you to focus not only to the storyline but also the costumes, music, and dance. All these elements are delicately completed and the actors are really talented. So, please don’t doubt about the quality of this musical and just enjoy.

The musical Chicago is so popular now that it’s on play worldwide. I can see this musical in Korea or London or somewhere else. However, the Chicago on broad way made me feel something different. Watching the one of the oldest musical in its original place made me feel touched. I was watching the musical Chicago in the same place where it was played at the first time. This theater has played the same musical everyday over 20 years. The musical Chicago is not just the musical, it was the accumulation of time and experiences. This fact made me overflowed with a lot of emotions. I even envy this broad way theaters because they have continuously played their musicals for a long time that they now have a history.