Chicago: "All That Jazz" Essay example

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Chicago: All That Jazz

The stage performance of Chicago offered a spectacle that I expected before attending the show. I knew there was going to be scantly clad girls with dark makeup and saucy attitudes. The performers brought to life all that was raunchy in the entertainment business during the roaring twenties. The lifestyle in Chicago featured jazz, booze, sex and crime. More importantly, Chicago had beautiful, young women with the dream of having their own Vaudeville act. The two main female characters, Velma and Roxy were two such women hoping to capture the public's attention. The composition of the show is a metaphoric integration of Vaudeville type acts amongst the book scenes and diegetic musical numbers.

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In Vaudeville shows there is no book or story plot as opposed to musical theatre. There may be a common theme between the acts but there is no formal plot. Also in Vaudeville there is change of content between shows. Depending on popularity of the performer an act can be cut or added. In contrast musical theatre productions are final cuts in terms of the content of the show. The addition of Vaudeville acts into the show brings about the purpose of the show. Sassy entertainment!

In Chicago, the main plot revolves around women who murder the men in their lives that have caused some injustice. Each woman has a story to justify the reason why the men had to die. Billy Flynn is a charismatic criminal lawyer that has never lost a case for a female client. The proceedings in jail and in the courtroom are anything but legal and ethical. It is clear that the plot is not serious. This justifies the fact that the female prison inmates are allowed to interact with each other in song and dance. Also the so-called warden can also act as a contract agent to get the girls their own Vaudeville act. The main purpose of the show is to water down the book plot and add individual entertainers. This is done to integrate the Vaudeville quality within a musical. In doing so the courtroom and jail is paralleled with a nightclub scene. The main purpose to maintain the Vaudeville quality is suggesting the cliché "all the world's a stage." In

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