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All That Jazz: The Life and Times of the Musical Chicago
In 1975, the Broadway musical Chicago brought together a host of memes and myths - the gleefully subversive character of American musical comedy, the reckless glamour of the big-city newspaper, the mad decade of the 1920s, the work of Bob Fosse and Gwen Verdon (two of the greatest talents in the musical's history), and the Wild West gangsterville that was the city of Chica ...more
Hardcover, 260 pages
Published April 2nd 2018 by Oxford University Press, USA
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Mordden manages to give you a complete, yet quick, history of the Chicago, the American musical, and all forms of "Chicago", from the original play through 3 movie versions ans the two musical incarnations. It's quite extraordinary that he manages to do this in so few pages, and enterain the reader all at the same time. An astonishing achievement!
All That Jazz is a fascinating study of not just the history of the musical Chicago, but an exploration of the times and people responsible for shaping the original play into the well-known musical revival of the late twentieth century. Written for lovers of history as well as lovers of theatre, All That Jazz presents itself as a graduate-level study with the musical Chicago as the focus and a sincere desire to pay homage to the places and personalities that serve as its foundation. The account ...more
Ethan Mordden (When Broadway Went to Hollywood), a prolific authority on the American musical, turns his attention to Bob Fosse's 1975 musical CHICAGO. The sardonic and dark Broadway production starring Gwen Verdon and Chita Rivera had the misfortune of opening the same year as A CHORUS LINE, so it didn't win any Tony Awards and ran only two years. In 1996, the show was revived on Broadway to great acclaim as a stripped-down, minimalist production. More than two decades later, it's still running ...more
If you've read his other books, you know Mr. Mordden is not afraid to express his opinion which can make for entertaining and sometimes aggravating reading. But never dull. This book has some interesting background stories but I found it surprisingly flat considering the colorful subject matter.
Highly recommended for everyone who has ever been wowed by Chicago, the author delves deep into what made this such an exceptional hit. What made it even more poignant to to me, was having seen the original Fosse Broadway production and forty years on it remains a vivid memory.