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“Disappointing” 3 of 5 stars
Review of Chicago the Musical

Chicago the Musical
Ambassador Theatre, 219 W. 49th Street, New York City, NY 10019 (Manhattan)
212-239-6200
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$127*
and up
Ranked #229 of 810 Activities in New York City
Type: Performances
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Owner description: Come on, babe! If you’re looking for razzle-dazzle entertainment? If you’re looking for a night out at the theater you’ll remember for years to come? If you’re looking for pure Broadway? Then look no further than Chicago! A true New York City institution, Chicago has everything that makes Broadway great: a universal tale of fame, fortune and all that jazz; one show-stopping-song after another; and the most astonishing dancing you’ve ever seen.
Cork, Ireland
Top Contributor
184 reviews 184 reviews
51 attraction reviews
Reviews in 35 cities Reviews in 35 cities
161 helpful votes 161 helpful votes
“Disappointing”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed June 27, 2014

Sorry to say that we were a bit disappointed with this. Have been to a few shows in the West End, and thought that the quality on Broadway would be the same if not better. I really wanted to like it, especially as our tickets were far from cheap. But the performers didn't seem that in to it themselves, and the leading lady was actually irritating. The whole show was really lacking something. Passed an evening away, but sad to say we actually fought to stay awake near the end.

Visited June 2014
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London, UK
Top Contributor
156 reviews 156 reviews
105 attraction reviews
Reviews in 61 cities Reviews in 61 cities
335 helpful votes 335 helpful votes
“A Great Character-Orientated Show BUT Potential Issues with the View”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 27, 2014

This was the first of 3 different Broadway musicals that I went to on consecutive days whilst on holiday in New York (Chicago/Les Mis/Phantom, I will review all 3 on TA). I had a good seat, enjoyed the show a lot and especially liked the novel staging arrangement and emphasis on performer characterisations. This is a popular/well known show so I'm not going to bother much describing it !

After being to all 3 I can now say that there is an issue with seating at this theatre when compared to the other theatres. I'm 6'+ tall, so it wasn't as much of a factor as it could be for others, BUT you need to be aware that the 'Orchestra' seating section (equivalent to 'Stalls' in UK theatres I think) is not sloped very much, so there is a good chance that you will have the based of the stage 'blocked-out' from view by the heads of those in front.

You will see the action but, depending on your height/those in front of you, you need to be prepared to not have a constant view of the performers feet for example ! The pros/cons of this are that (like the other theatres I went to) whilst an unobstructed view is virtually guaranteed if you are seated in the 'Mezzanine' (ie upper) section, you are looking DOWN on the stage - which I don't think is at all satisfactory in any respect. That's probably the reason why ALL the orchestra section seat prices are the highest on offer....

I bought my ticket from the discount TKTS Seaport outlet with 50% discount = $75.50 (incl all fees) for seat 1/row O, left orchestra section. Even being almost at the rear of the section (16 rows back) the view was fine (remember I'm quite tall !) and I did not feel that I was too far away from the stage. The real benefit was being level with the stage courtesy of an orchestra section seat....

What immediately impressed me about this show was the novel staging. It's set-up for the ultimate musical experience, as the (quite small) orchestra is sited ON the stage, in a sloping/forward-facing 'bandstand' behind the performers 'strip' at the front of the stage. There is no set to speak of really and the performers are confined to that strip of stage, which is probably only about 10' deep, although they do utilize access-points/sites to the side and within the bandstand to expand the action area and use props....

This staging makes the performance experience quite intimate and means the cast characterisations are more prominent, but most significantly it means that the music is delivered to you front-on (rather than upwards/by speakers if the orchestra is in the more traditional 'pit' location). As a result, the one (small) downside to this is that the performers voices have to be delivered to you more via microphone/speaker...

The only specific observation I have about the performance was that I felt that the lead actor/singer who played 'Roxie Hart' (Bianca Marroquin) had a very 'soft' (ie quiet !) voice, even when amplified; whilst she had a good tonal-quality to her singing voice, I often couldn't understand all the words of what she said/sang. This was made glaringly obvious when I compare her to the performer Amra-Faye Wright, who plays the almost equal-billing character 'Velma Kelly' - her performance was top-notch in ALL respects.

So, a marvellous show with a terrific music-orientated staging. At this theatre, for the reasons mentioned, in my opinion you need to try and get a seat which is not only in the orchestra section BUT also as close to the stage as possible...

Visited June 2014
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Chicago, Illinois
Top Contributor
63 reviews 63 reviews
18 attraction reviews
Reviews in 19 cities Reviews in 19 cities
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
“WOW!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 26, 2014

Well, to be honest, we knew very little about the show and we are FROM Chicago area...sooo glad we came. The theater was cozy and actually had some leg room in our orchestra seats! Glad we paid extra to be up close. A stunning show. Staff - ushers, bar staff - were all very helpful, and all that Jazz....A must see. Bravo!

Visited June 2014
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Las Vegas, Nevada
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
5 attraction reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
“VERY Good for First timer like me.”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 25, 2014

I'm no expert. This is my first Broadway play to watch so this review is good for first timers not connoisseurs of live theater. For me it was good. It is true that costume and set changes would have added to the drama of the play but I still understood the story even if I never saw the movie
or read the book (I'm not even sure if there is a book0. I really like the songs, the music-its entertaining and not boring like some classical music and there were some funny parts so I would recommend it for first timers. I would advise though, try not to buy food and drinks-very expensive and time your use of bathroom-do it really early so you won't be waiting in a long line particularly for ladies.

Visited June 2014
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Caulfield, Australia
Top Contributor
116 reviews 116 reviews
46 attraction reviews
Reviews in 32 cities Reviews in 32 cities
32 helpful votes 32 helpful votes
“It's a Broadway Musical!”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 23, 2014

We've seen many musicals in Australia, but this was our chance to see a Broadway Show. We'd missed Chicago in Melbourne, so now was our chance to catch it. I loved the orchestra being on stage, because what is a musical without music? The singing was great, the dancing fantastic too. We were disappointed that there were three understudies playing, but I suppose that happens with a matinee.
The theatre was surprisingly small.
Amos Hart delivering Mr Cellophane was my highlight.

Visited June 2014
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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