Some of Durban's top musicians will be centre stage performing live for every performance of KickstArt's high-kicking razzle-dazzle, Kander and Ebb musical, Chicago, which comes to the UKZN campus' Elizabeth Sneddon Theatre from 8 - 30 April.
Oozing gritty sex appeal, Chicago follows KickstArt's previous cutting edge contemporary musicals: Sweeney Todd, Into the Woods and Cabaret. Chicago features music by John Kander, lyrics by Fred Ebb, and book by Ebb and Bob Fosse. The Durban staging will be directed by Steven Stead, designed by Greg King and lighting design by Tina le Roux.
The live band features the talents of Evan Roberts (MD, conductor and piano); Sidney Rash (drums); Ildo Nandja (bass); Siyanda Zulu (trumpet); Duncan Woolridge (trombone); Reanne De Klerk (sax and clarinet); Salim Washington (sax, clarinet and flute) Jane Baillie (violin) and Ryan Canning (piano).
Chicago features a slew of fabulous show stopping numbers: All that Jazz; When You're Good to Mama; Cell Block Tango; Mister Cellophane and Razzle Dazzle.
"I count myself extremely honoured to be the MD of this production for many reasons: It's the 2nd longest running show in Broadway history behind Phantom of the Opera; the film version won the Academy award for Best Picture; its written and composed by musical theatre icons John Kander and Fred Ebb andI am working with nine of Durban's finest musicians!" considers Evan Roberts.
The Chicago music was originated by highly-successful American Tony Award winning song-writing duo, Kander and Ebb were primarily known for their award-winning stage musicals. John Kander, (born 1927) composed the music, while Fred Ebb, (1928 - 2004) wrote the lyrics.
Chicago centers on vaudevillian showgirl, Velma Kelly (Katy Moore) and housewife, Roxie Hart (Jessica Sole) two murderesses that find themselves in jail awaiting trial - fighting for the fame that will keep them from the gallows. Also in the cast are Billy (Jason Ralph); Mama Morton (Charon Williams Ros); Mary Sunshine (Anne Marie Clulow) and Amos (Bryan Hiles).