In the 1920s, directly after World War I, the societies were rife with alcohol, crime, desire, and violence. At that time, a murder was not considered a serious crime and materialism was prevalent to the point that “money-filled societies.” Thus, the United States was confused. The musical Chicago describes the situation of that time, so let’s go into the disorganization and confusion that was Chicago at that time.
1. Musical Chicago
The musical Chicago has played all around the world and is famous enough to be called the pride of American musicals. There was also a Chicago concert performed by Korean actors. Chicago has been the longest running performance in Broadway. It has received 55 awards at ceremonies worldwide. It has been performed 29,000 times in 474 theatres and watched by 30 million people. The Chicago team visited Korea for their first performance in 2017 and it really heated up Korea.
Unlike other musicals playing MRs, the music of Chicago is played by 14 orchestra members at the stage. So, you can enjoy a high-quality orchestra show as well as the performances of actors.
The actors speak English but there is no need to worry. You can see Korean subtitles on both sides of the screen and VIP and R seats each have a personal screen to see the subtitles. However, if the second floor and the third floor are reserved, you can rent binoculars to see the subtitles before you watch the performances.
2. Chicago's inside story< Copyright © The Gachon Herald All rights reserved >
The main background of the musical Chicago is the chaos of the 1920s and a prison. Many people don’t care about murder, and murder is, in a way, a main character.
There are scenes where prisoners charged with murder talk about their own crimes. The prisoners’ reasons for murdering is very shocking. The motives for murder are often just anger, as in the case of one woman who shot her husband because he was not to her taste.
Velma Kelly, one of the prisoners, wants to become a star. She used to perform with her younger sister. One day, Velma, her sister and her husband stay overnight in the performance area. That night, Velma Kelly witnesses the improper relationship between her husband and her sister. She kills them both and goes to prison. Velma Kelly’s story gets published in a major newspaper because she has killed two people and committed a terrible murder. She receives public concern and becomes popular because of the undesirable behavior but Velma really wants use this interest to be a star.
Roxie Hart, another prisoner, dreams of becoming a brilliant jazz singer, but the reality is that she is only a chorus girl. Roxie Hart marries Amos Hart and lives a normal life, however, Roxie Hart has an inadequate relationship with a furniture salesman, Fred Casely. One day, when Fred Casely says goodbye to her, so Roxie kills Fred in anger. While still in prison, Roxie gets the attention of the world through media-play with the help of lawyer Billy Flynn, but soon public attention shifts to another more exciting event and gets foolish. In the end, Roxie becomes a star through a duo with Velma Kelly.
'Mama Morton' is an influential person in prison. This musical shows how money makes everything possible. A criminal gives her money and she gives the money to someone to help with their release.
Velma Kelly and Roxy Heart also get her support. Mama Morton helps them become stars and eventually star prisoners.
The 1920s is shortly after the war. That period may have been confusing, however, look at the situation in 2017. Has the perception of “money as everything” and 'murder with no reason' changed? The recent unprecedented situation shows that our society is still in an age of materialism. Also, there is murder without a specific reason. How has our society changed in the last 100 years? While income levels have improved significantly during the past century, our perceptions have grown less. I hope you enjoy the musical Chicago, which makes you think about the present through the past.