Dormston Mill Theatre – December 2019
“All That Jazz!”
Velma Kelly welcomes the audience to tonight’s show (“All That Jazz”). During her number, the scene cuts to the
bedroom of chorus girl Roxie Hart, where she angrily murders Fred Casely for attempting to break off their affair.
Roxie expresses her appreciation of her husband’s willingness to do anything for her (“Funny Honey”). However, when Sergeant Fogarty mentions the deceased’s name, Amos realises that Roxie has lied to him. Roxie, feeling betrayed, confesses and is arrested. She is sent to the women’s block in the Cook County Jail, where several women accused of killing their lovers are held (“Cell Block Tango”). Among the inmates is Velma Kelly, revealing herself to have been involved in the death of her husband and sister, though she denies committing the act. The block is presided over by Matron “Mama” Morton, whose system of taking bribes (“When You’re Good to Mama”) perfectly suits her clientele. She has helped Velma become the media’s top murderer-of-the-week and is acting as a booking agent for Velma’s big return to vaudeville.
Velma is not happy to see Roxie, who steals her limelight and her lawyer, Billy Flynn. Roxie convinces Amos to pay for Billy Flynn to be her lawyer (“A Tap Dance”), though Amos lacks the funds. Eagerly awaited by his all-woman clientele, Billy is introduced with a chorus of fan dancers (“All I Care About”). Billy takes Roxie’s case before realising Amos doesn’t have the money; to make up the difference, he turns the case into a media circus and rearranges her story for consumption by sympathetic tabloid columnist Mary Sunshine (“A Little Bit of Good”). Roxie’s press conference turns into a ventriloquist act, with Billy dictating a new version of the truth (“We Both Reached for the Gun”) to the reporters while Roxie mouths the words.
Roxie becomes the most popular celebrity in Chicago, which she boastfully proclaims while planning for her future career in vaudeville (“Roxie”). As Roxie’s fame grows, Velma’s notoriety subsides, and in an act of desperation she tries to talk Roxie into recreating the sister act (“I Can’t Do It Alone”). Roxie turns her down, only to find her own
headlines replaced by the latest sordid crime of passion committed by Kitty (“Chicago After Midnight”). Separately, Roxie and Velma realise there is no-one they can count on but themselves (“My Own Best Friend”), and Roxie decides that being pregnant in prison would put her back on the front page.
Velma returns to introduce the second act, resentful of Roxie’s manipulation of the system (“I Know a Girl”). As Roxie emerges, she sings gleefully of the future of her non-existent child (“Me and My Baby”). Amos proudly claims
paternity, no-one notices him. Billy exposes holes in Roxie’s story by noting that she and Amos had not had sex in four months; meaning that if she were pregnant, the child could not be Amos’s, in the hope that Amos would divorce her and look like a villain (“Mr. Cellophane”). Velma tries to show Billy all the tricks she has planned for her trial (“When Velma Takes The Stand”), which Roxie treats sceptically. Roxie, considering herself a celebrity, has a heated
argument with Billy and fires him; Billy warns her that her celebrity is fleeting and that she would be just as famous hanging from a noose. At that moment, Roxie witnesses one of her fellow inmates, a Hungarian woman who insisted on her innocence but could not speak English, being hanged (“Hungarian Rope Trick”).
The trial date arrives, and Billy calms the now terrified Roxie, telling her if she makes a show of it, she will be fine (“Razzle Dazzle”). Billy uses Amos as a pawn, insisting that Amos is actually the father of Roxie’s child. Roxie steals all of Velma’s plan, down to the rhinestone garter, to the dismay of Mama and Velma (“Class”). As promised, Billy gets Roxie acquitted, but just as the verdict is announced, an even more sensational crime pulls the press away, and Roxie’s fleeting celebrity life is over. Billy leaves, done with the case, admitting that he only did it for the money. Amos tries to get Roxie to come home and forget the ordeal, but she is more concerned with the end of her brief run of fame and admits that she isn’t pregnant, leaving Amos in the dust.
The final scene cuts to a Chicago vaudeville theatre, where Roxie and Velma are performing a new act in which they sing about modern life (“Nowadays”). The former Mary Sunshine, revealed during the trial to actually be a man in drag, takes his natural male form as a pushy vaudeville promoter, shaping Roxie and Velma’s dance (“Hot Honey Rag”) to make it as sexy as possible. The show ends with a brief finale (“Finale”).
Director/Choreographer – Ben Cole
Musical Director – Ian Room
Assistant Musical Director – James Maddison
|Velma Kelly||Claire Flavell|
|Roxie Hart||Jessamine Cox|
|Billy Flynn||John Wetherall|
|Matron ‘Mama’ Morton||Sarah Moors|
|Mary Sunshine||Andy Foggin|
|Amos Hart||Tim Jones|
|Go To Hell Kitty||Leann Barnett|
|Sergeant Fogarty||Simon Peacock|
|Fred Casely||Dan Smith|
|Martin Harrison||Matt Evans|