An amaz­ing Mama and a foxy Roxie

Buckinghamshire Advertiser - - REVIEWS -

I found out al­most a year ago that it was com­ing to Ayles­bury Water­side Theatre and I jumped at the chance to go along.

I’ve been wait­ing a long time for this mu­si­cal, but it has most def­i­nitely been worth it.

The show, which ran at Ayles­bury Water­side from July 11 to July 16, opens with a bang as the orches­tra strikes-up the open­ing notes to All That Jazz.

The beau­ti­fully tal­ented So­phie Car­men-Jones (Velma Kelly) then makes her dra­matic en­trance, dressed in a lit­tle black num­ber, and belts out the num­ber to per­fec­tion.

Hay­ley Ta­mad­don (Coro­na­tion Street, Emmerdale) who plays Roxie Hart, made her singing de­but in the show by hanging off a lad­der and singing Funny Honey. She has a stun­ning singing voice.

I also must say I much pre­ferred Ta­mad­don’s Roxie to Zell­weger’s. Hay­ley was more play­ful, cheeky and all-round more like­able.

The show’s ex­tremely strong start con­tin­ued when six cast mem­bers, in­clud­ing Car­menJones (who makes the per­fect Velma and even gives Zeta-Jones a run for her money), took cen­tre stage to sing my per­sonal favourite num­ber Cell Block Tango. It was amaz­ing.

Another of my favourites then fol­lowed when Gina Mur­ray, who plays Ma­tron ‘Mama’ Mor­ton, per­formed When You’re Good to Mama.

When Mur­ray took to the stage the row of au­di­ence mem­bers be­hind me roared with ap­plause, I didn’t think much of it at the time be­cause she was per­fectly cast as Mama and had a voice to match. How­ever, I later dis­cov­ered it was Mur­ray’s first night in the show fol­low­ing just two weeks of re­hearsals. Well, it cer­tainly did not show at all. She was amaz­ing, and if that was her open­ing night, the au­di­ence is in for a real treat later down the road of the tour.

Charm­ing, smooth talk­ing lawyer Billy Flynn, played by John Par­tridge (Eas­tEn­ders, Celebrity Big Brother) makes his en­trance, sur­rounded by beau­ti­ful girls, as he sings All I Care About. Like Ta­mad­don, he has an amaz­ing pres­ence on stage . Another sur­pris­ing cast mem­ber was the amaz­ing AD Richard­son who was out­stand­ing singing A Lit­tle Bit of Good and hit the high­est notes I have ever heard! What a star.

I also loved Roxie’s long­suf­fer­ing hus­band Amos Hart, played by the won­der­ful Neil Ditt.

Ev­ery sin­gle cast mem­ber was amaz­ing and I have to say, it is the strong­est cast I have ever seen in any show. The singing was sen­sa­tional through­out, the chore­og­ra­phy was mes­meris­ing, the act­ing out­stand­ing and the comic tim­ing was per­fect.

Chicago is con­tin­u­ing to tour the UK un­til De­cem­ber.

www.chicagothe­mu­si­cal.com.

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