'Paint the Town' with Chicago at the Warner Theater
Tuesday, Jan. 22 - 23
Go ahead: rouge your knees. Roll your stockings down (scandalous!). Find a whoopie spot with cold gin and a hot piano. Chicago, the 1975 Broadway hit which has netted numerous Tonys over the course of its long (second-longest running musical in history, to be exact) onstage reign, is coming to Erie's incomparable Warner Theatre, and it's going to be a two-show engagement that no one who loves musical theater will want to miss.
Chicago is based on a play penned by a 1920s journalist who had a few things to say about the sensationalism of female criminals. Though the playwright resisted efforts to adapt her source material into a musical, after her death, the estate sold the rights to a group of men, including stage legend Bob Fosse.
From the opening number, the ubiquitous "All That Jazz," to the "Cell Block Tango," to the live-life-for-the-moment "Nowadays," we've all been humming these tunes or using the lyrics in our everyday lives for decades (isn't it grand?). Meanwhile, the subject matter — the media's insatiable hunger for, and manipulation of, the stories that make up the most sensational crimes and trials, particularly those surrounding female criminals — remains as timely as ever.
While you could, no doubt, stream the 2002 film version from the comfort of your couch, there is nothing that compares to the immersive experience that is walking into a theater, taking a seat, and hearing the hush of the audience as the lights go down and the stage is suddenly illuminated with singers and dancers at the top of their game.
Chicago is an incredibly accessible musical for people "who don't really like musicals," and a favorite for die-hard fans, thanks to its dark humor, infectiously jazzy score and eye-popping choreography. — Cara Suppa
7:30 p.m. (both shows) // 811 State Street // $44 to $72 (see website for full pricing information) // eriewarnertheatre.com