“No Show Is Worth Dying For”
This chapter analyzes and discusses the performance of Chicago, which opened in 1975. Here were the key elements of Fosse’s art, the carnal act on one hand and, on the other, the indefinable American something that toys with our imaginations and infuriates the authorities. Sex and jazz worked as a set, like crime and show business in the early talkie. The chapter argues that in his faithful adaptation of Maurine Watkins’ play, Fosse brought out all the bawdy chaos that “Chicago” meant in American mythology. To close, the chapter discusses the reception of the musical as well as the inevitable changes in the cast after the first several hundred performances of Chicago’s initial run.
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