Chicago

A CONCORD THEATRICALS TITLE

Chicago

Full-Length Musical, Comedy  /  10f, 9m

Book by Fred Ebb and Bob Fosse / Music by John Kander / Lyrics by Fred Ebb

Based on the play by Maurine Dallas Watkins / Script adaptation by David Thompson

In roaring twenties Chicago, chorine Roxie Hart murders a faithless lover and convinces her hapless husband, Amos, to take the rap...until he finds out he's been duped and turns on Roxie. Convicted and sent to death row, Roxie and another "Merry Murderess," Velma Kelly, vie for the spotlight and the headlines, ultimately joining forces in search of the "American Dream": fame, fortune, and acquittal. This sharp-edged satire features a dazzling score that sparked immortal staging by Bob Fosse.

  • Cast Size
    Cast Size
    10f, 9m
  • Duration
    Duration
    120 minutes (2 hours)
  • SubGenre
    Subgenre
    Period
  • Suggested Use
    Suggested Use
    • Competition or audition material
  • Audience
    Target Audience
    Adult, Teen (Age 14 - 18)
Accolades
Accolades
  • Nominee: Ten 1975 Tony® Awards, including Best Musical, Best Book and Best Original Score
    Winner! 1975 Drama Desk Award
    Winner! Six 1997 Tony® Awards, including Best Revival of a Musical
    Winner! Six 1997 Drama Desk Awards, including Outstanding Revival of a Musical

Licence details
  • Licensing fees and rental materials quoted upon application.
    Performance rights for this title are currently withdrawn in the UK. To be informed as soon as it becomes available in the future, please submit a license application.

Details

Summary

Please note: Performance rights for this title are currently very restricted in the UK and Ireland. Submit a licence request to determine availability.

In roaring twenties Chicago, chorine Roxie Hart murders a faithless lover and convinces her hapless husband, Amos, to take the rap...until he finds out he's been duped and turns on Roxie. Convicted and sent to death row, Roxie and another "Merry Murderess," Velma Kelly, vie for the spotlight and the headlines, ultimately joining forces in search of the "American Dream": fame, fortune, and acquittal. This sharp-edged satire features a dazzling score that sparked immortal staging by Bob Fosse.

Note on High School Edition: Adapted in collaboration with iTheatrics, Kander & Ebb's legendary and award-winning musical about fame, fortune and acquittal is now widely available to be performed by high schools around the world. Note that high school and youth organizations may not produce the standard version of Chicago; instead they must apply for Chicago: High School Edition.

History

Chicago first opened on Broadway at the 46th Street Theatre in New York City on June 3, 1975. It was directed and choreographed by Bob Fosse.

Cast Attributes
  • Non-Traditional casting
  • Flexible casting
  • Local Celebrity Cameo
  • Room for Extras
  • Strong Role for Leading Man (Star Vehicle)
  • Strong Role for Leading Woman (Star Vehicle)
Performing Groups
  • College Theatre / Student
  • Community Theatre
  • Dinner Theatre
  • Professional Theatre
  • Large Stage

VELMA KELLY: Female, 25-40 (Range: Alto, E3-D5)
Vaudville performer who is accused of murdering her sister and husband. Hardened by fame, she cares for no one but herself and her attempt to get away with murder.

ROXIE HART: Female, 20-30 (Range: Mezzo-Soprano, F3-B4)
Reads and keeps up with murder trials in Chicago, and follows suit by murdering her lover, Fred Casely. She stops at nothing to render a media storm with one goal: to get away with it.

FRED CASELY: Male, 30-50 (Range: Ensemble/Part Flexible)
Roxie’s short lived lover. Murdered for trying to leave Roxie.

SERGEANT FOGARTY: Male, 35-55 (Range: Ensemble/Part Flexible)
Assigned to Roxie’s case. After asking the right questions, he manages to get Roxie to confess.

AMOS HART: Male, 30-50 (Range: Baritone, C3-F#4)
Roxie’s faithful husband. Lies for her and tries to take the blame until he realizes that he has been two-timed by Roxie. Still in love with her, or misguided, he believes anything she says in her pursuit to get out of jail.

LIZ: Female, 18-45 (Range: Ensemble, A3-C#5)
Prisoner at Cook County Jail. She is imprisoned after shooting two warning shots into her husband’s head.

ANNIE: Female, 18-45 (Range: Ensemble, A3-C#5)
Prisoner at the Cook County Jail. Murder’s her lover after finding out he already has six wives. “One of those Mormons, ya’ know.”

JUNE: Female, 18-45 (Range: Ensemble, A3-C#5)
Prisoner at Cook County Jail. After her husband accuses her of screwing the milk man, he mysteriously runs into her knife ten times.

HUNYAK: Female, 25-45 (Range: Non-Singing Role)
Hungarian Prisoner at Cook County Jail. The only English she speaks is the phase, “Not Guilty.” Which follows her to her grave.

MONA: Female, 18-45 (Range: Ensemble, A3-C#5)
Prisoner at Cook County Jail. Murders her lover after he has a round of affairs with other woman, and an occasional man. I guess you could say it was “artistic differences.”

MARTIN HARRISON: Male, 35-55 (Range: Ensemble/Part Flexible)
Ensemble member who doubles as the Master of Ceremonies at times.

MATRON "MAMA" MORTON: Female, 30-50 (Range: Alto, F#3-Bb4)
Leader of the prisoners of Cook County Jail. The total essence of corruption. Accepts bribes for favors from laundry service to making calls to lawyers. “When you’re good to Moma, Moma’s good to you.”

BILLY FLYNN: Male, 35-50 (Range: Baritone Bb2-G4)
Established lawyer who hasn’t lost a woman’s case yet. Master of media manipulation who will get a girl off the hook as long as she can fork up the hefty $5,000 fee.

MARY SUNSHINE: Female, 25-55 (Range: Soprano, Bb3-Bb5)
Sob sister reporter from the Evening Star. Believes there is a little bit of good in everyone and will believe anything she is fed that matches her beliefs.

GO-TO-HELL-KITTY: Female, 21-40 (Range: Ensemble, A3-C#5)
Steals the spotlight when she Murders her husband along with three other woman. Her crimes are labeled “Lake Shore Drive Massacre.”

HARRY: (Range: Ensemble/Part Flexible)
Murdered by Go-To-Hell Kitty for sleeping around with three women behind her back.

AARON: (Range: Ensemble/Part Flexible)
Court appointed lawyer for Hunyak. He tries to get her to confess to speed along the trial.

JUDGE: Male, 40-65 (Range: Ensemble/Part Flexible)
Judge overseeing Roxie’s Trial.

COURT CLERK: (Range: Ensemble/Part Flexible)
Swears people in with their hand on the bible. “Blah, Blah, Truth, Truth. Selp-you God.”

CHORUS (SATB) 


  • Time Period 1920s
  • Setting Chicago, Illinois. The late 1920s.
  • Features Period Costumes
  • Duration 120 minutes (2 hours)
  • Cautions
    • Alcohol
    • Gun Shots
    • Strong Language
    • Mild Adult Themes

Media

"Wildly entertaining...[with a] dazzling score." - New York Daily News

"A pulse-racing revival that flies us right into musical heaven." - The New York Times

"As dazzling a demonstration of the craft of musical theatre as you're ever going to see on a Broadway stage." - The New York Post

“Fosse’s best work, uncompromising and with real strength showing in every idea and image.” - Newsweek

Videos

  • Chicago: All That Jazz (Official Video)

  • Chicago on Broadway: Cell Block Tango

  • West End Live 2018: Chicago

  • Chicago: Kennedy Center Promo

Photos

  • Chicago

    Image: Paul Kolnik

  • Chicago

    Image: Tristram Kenton

Music

Song Samples

All That Jazz
Funny Honey
The Cell Block Tango
When You're Good to Momma
All I Care About
A Little Bit of Good
We Both Reached for the Gun
Roxie
I Can't Do It Alone
My Own Best Friend
Mr. Cellophane
When Velma Takes the Stand
Razzle Dazzle
Class
Nowadays

Act I

1. Overture - Orchestra
2. "And All That Jazz" - Velma & Company
3. "Funny Honey" - Roxie
4. "Cell Block Tango" - The Merry Murderesses
5. "When You’re Good to Mama" - Matron Mama Morton
6. Tap Dance - Orchestra
7. "All I Care About is Love" - Billy & Ensemble Girls
8. $5,000 Cue - Orchestra
9. "A Little Bit of Good" - Mary Sunshine
10. Roxie’s Story - Orchestra
11. "We Both Reached For the Gun" - Billy, Roxie & Company
12. 1st Newspaper Headlines - Orchestra
13. "Roxie" - Roxie & Ensemble Men
14. 2nd Newspaper Headlines - Orchestra
15. "I Can’t Do It Alone" - Velma
16. "I Can’t Do It Alone" Tag - Velma
17. Chicago After Midnight - Orchestra
18. 3rd Newspaper Headlines - Orchestra
19. "My Own Best Friend" - Roxie & Velma
20. First Act Curtain - Velma

Act II

21. Entr’acte - Orchestra
22. "I Know a Girl" - Velma
23. "Me and My Baby" - Roxie & Ensemble
24. "Mister Cellophane" - Amos
25. "When Velma Takes the Stand" - Velma & Ensemble Men
26. "Velma Takes the Stand" Exit - Ensemble Men
27. Hungarian Hanging - Orchestra
28. "Razzle Dazzle" - Billy & Ensemble
29. Courtroom Scene - Company
30. NBC Chimes - Orchestra
31. "Class" - Velma & Matron
32. Billy’s Speech - Orchestra
33. The Verdict - Orchestra
34. "Nowadays" - Roxie & Velma
35. Hot Honey Rag - Orchestra
36. "Finale" - Ensemble
37. Bows - Orchestra
38. Exit Music - Orchestra
Piano-Conductor

Reed 1 (Piccolo, Clarinet, Soprano & Alto Saxophones)
Reed 2 (Piccolo, Clarinet, Soprano & Tenor Saxophones)
Reed 3 (Clarinet, Bass Clarinet, Soprano, Tenor & Baritone Saxophones)
Trumpets 1&2 (dbl. Flugelhorn)
Trombone 1
Trombone 2
Bass/Tuba (A combined Tuba and Acoustic Bass part, as per the original score)
Bass (Alt) [The above part written solely for Acoustic Bass. To be used if no Tuba]
Percussion (Snare Drum, 3 Toms [High, Med., Low-Floor], Bass Drum, Crash Cymbal, Ride Cymbal, Splash Cymbal, Hi Hats, Xylophone [2 notes: F & G], Orchestra Bells or Glockenspiel, NBC Chimes [quasi Vibraphone], Temple Blocks, Cow Bell, Triangle, Tambourine, Castanet Machine, Wood Block, Ratchet, Pop Gun, Siren Whistle [Acme], Slide Whistle, Bike Horn, Clank [Metallic])
Banjo (dbl. Mandolin, Ukulele)
Keyboard 1 (Piano, Harmonium)
Keyboard 2 (Piano, Accordion)
Violin
  • Musical StyleClassic Broadway, Jazz
  • Vocal DemandsModerate
  • Orchestra SizeLarge
  • Chorus SizeLarge

Materials

Music Rentals

Concord offers a full suite of resources to help you put on the show of a lifetime!
1 Piano-Conductor
20 Vocal Books Books

1 Reed 1
1 Reed 2
1 Reed 3
2 Trumpets 1&2
1 Trombone 1
1 Trombone 2
1 Tuba/Bass
1 Percussion
1 Banjo
1 Keyboard 1
1 Keyboard 2
1 Violin
1 Piano-Conductor
20 Vocal Books

Authors

Fred Ebb

Fred Ebb (1933–2004) was an award-winning lyricist, librettist and director who frequently and successfully collaborated with composer John Kander. Ebb's work for the theatre included Flora, The Red Menace; Cabaret; The Happy Time; Zorba; 70, Girls, 70; Chicago; The Act; Woma ...

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John Kander

John Kander is a Tony, Emmy and Grammy-winning composer, a recipient of the Kennedy Center Honors Award, and a member of the American Theatre Hall of Fame. With frequent collaborator Fred Ebb, he composed the score to dozens of Broadway musicals, including Cabaret, Zorba, Chi ...

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Author

Maurine Dallas Watkins

Bob Fosse

Robert Louis Fosse was born in Chicago, Illinois on June 23, 1927. Fosse took an early interest in dance, displaying unusual skill. His parents supported his interest, enrolling him in formal dance training. By his early teens, Fosse was dancing professionally in local nightc ...

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