The cast of the musical smash-hit Chicago. PIcture: Supplied

A nightclub singer, a double-murderess, a smooth-talking lawyer and a cell block of sin surrounded by the razzle-dazzle of the world’s sexiest musical returns in 2019! 

You’ve got it comin’ as the story of the award-winning Broadway and West End musical Chicago unfolds to show-stopping songs including All that Jazz, Cell Block Tango and Mister Cellophane. 

The multi-talented all South African touring cast, band and crew begin rehearsals in Joburg this month ahead of an international tour to New Zealand and China. 

The South African leg of the tour brings Chicago back to Artscape, Cape Town, from March 15 until April 14,  next year. It then heads to Montecasino’s Teatro in Johannesburg from April 26 to May 26. 

Originally staged in Cape Town and Johannesburg in 2005 and again, owing to popular demand, in 2008 at Montecasino’s Teatro and Artscape, this show has been enjoyed by more than 210 000 theatre-goers. Reviewers and critics alike raved about the show. 

The cast of the musical smash-hit Chicago. Picture: Supplied

After 11 years, this sensual, seductive smash-hit musical returns, bringing back one of this country’s most successful theatre productions. 

Back for the show are leads Samantha Peo (Cabaret, West  Side Story, Strictly Come Dancing) and Ilse Klink (Mamma Mia!, Show Boat, Isidingo), as well as Craig Urbani (Sound of Music, Rock of Ages, Scandal) who reprises the role of devious lawyer Billy Flynn in South Africa while Jonathan Roxmouth (Phantom of the Opera, Evita, Sweeney Todd) plays this role in New Zealand and China. 

Also returning is KJ Haupt (Rocky Horror, Carmen, Phantom of the Opera) with Carmen Pretorius (Sound of Music, Jersey Boys, Lien se Lankstaanskoene) and Grant Towers (Funny Girl, Sound of Music, Avenue Q) joining the company in principal roles. 

Ensemble members from Chicago’s 2005 and 2008 seasons, husband and wife Ferdi and Diani Gernandt and Tandi Gavin as the Hungarian murderess, Hunyak are also back. 

The remainder of the Chicago ensemble features Lesego van Niekerk, Raquel Munn, Natasha van der Merwe, Brittané van Loggerenberg, Jenna Child, Alexandra Girard, Jarryd Nurden, Michael Fullard, Hugo Madeleyn, Craig Arnolds, Thamsanqa Njoko, Sibusiso Mxosana, Darren Greef and Stephan van der Walt. 

The cast of the musical smash-hit Chicago. Picture: Supplied

Produced by Showtime Management in association with Barry & Fran Weissler and David Ian, Chicago has a combined South African and international creative team including associate director Tania Nardini and Gary Chryst, who recreates the New York production choreography. Both have staged Chicago across multiple continents. 

Award-winning musical director Bryan Schimmel (Jersey Boys, Annie, Priscilla Queen of the Desert) will lead the 11-piece orchestra and the sexy, stylish ensemble will once again razzle-dazzle South African audiences. 

“We are delighted to have most of the original company for our return, and I believe the tremendous talents of each and every member in the company will take this all-South African production to even greater heights in 2019,” says Hazel Feldman, Chicago’s South African producer. 

“Its unique choreography in the style of Bob Fosse, its sizzling score and intriguing plot performed by some of this country’s most talented performers makes it one show not to be missed.”

The cast of the musical smash-hit Chicago. PIcture: Supplied

Winner of six Tonys, two Oliviers, one Grammy, two Baftas and six Academy Awards, Chicago is the longest-running musical revival in Broadway history. 

This devilishly delicious musical has brought cheering audiences to their feet around the world. An estimated 31 million people have seen it in more than 32 500 performances. 

Chicago was first created by the legendary Broadway trio of John Kander (music), Fred Ebb (book/lyrics) and Bob Fosse (co-author, original director and choreographer) in 1975, and was based on a 1926 Broadway play written by Maurine Dallas Watkins, a journalist from the Chicago Tribune who had covered the sensational trials of two women, both of whom were accused of killing their lovers while under the influence of drink and jazz.

* Bookings are now open at Computicket. For more information, visit www.chicagothemusical.com

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