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The Warsaw Voice » Society » October 24, 2002
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Chicago...My Kinda Town
October 24, 2002 By Maria Szymańska   
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This year's theater season was dominated by Chicago, a musical that presents the dark secrets which push people to commit crime. After its lukewarm summer premiere at Warsaw's Music Theater, the time has come to prove that the show didn't become a hit on Broadway and London's West End unfounded.

This story of love, passion and deceit was presented on the stage of the Music Theater in Gdynia. The ceremonial opening Oct. 6 proved that a well-known musical can still be presented in an original way.
Chicago is the brainchild of John Kander and Fred Ebb, one of Broadway's most famous artistic duos. On the basis of their work, Maurine Dallas Watkins created a world ruled by cruel truths with no room for mercy. Chicago is a vaudeville story of sex and corruption in the '20s, inspired by jazz music and other sounds of the decade. An undoubted asset of the musical is the choreography of Bob Fosse, an artist who has brought sensuality to the theater and is one of the masters of the stage.

This material, although difficult, has been presented in a new way by the Music Theater in Gdynia. Choreographer and co-director Jarosław Staniek had the difficult task of following Fosse without repeating his ideas and the effect is surprising. The quotes from this master of choreography, combined with the technical possibilities of the theater, prove to be a winning formula. In the original version, the clever killers Velma and Roxie are played by older actresses. The presentation in Gdynia featured young actress Tamara Arciuch as Roxie Hart, a role which she played exceptionally. The costumes of Małgorzata Szydłowska were also a high point—revealing and sexy but in good taste. The long-legged dancers were amazingly attractive, their naked thighs and masks adding zest to the performance.

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