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All That Jazz: The Life and Times of the Musical Chicago
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All That Jazz: The Life and Times of the Musical Chicago

3.86  ·  Rating details ·  51 ratings  ·  12 reviews
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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Mar 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Ethan Morddeen's passion for the Theatre is such a joy to read. I truly appreciate the in-depth research and history he discusses in rich detail. ...more
Jan 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing
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! ...more
May 27, 2020 rated it liked it
Wow. I truly cannot believe how long it took me to finish this book- especially considering the content is the history of one of my favourite pieces of art of all time. In reading this book there were moments where I flew through pages upon pages, and moments where every sentence felt like a hill that needed to be climbed. It may be because this book at times reads more like an academic analysis/ history lesson on the city of Chicago and how it has come to be represented onstage- but I found the ...more
Veronica Giguere
Dec 14, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: audiobook
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
Apr 24, 2018 rated it really liked it
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
Greg Kerestan
Sep 09, 2019 rated it really liked it
One of the most thorough examinations of both a musical and the greater cultural milieu that created it, Ethan Mordden's "All That Jazz" analyzes and deconstructs not only the musical "Chicago" but the play and multiple movie versions it was based on, as well as real events in Chicago and United States history that made such a show possible. This goes beyond just a theatrical interests book; fans of film history and "weird Americana" like "The Devil in the White City" will find much to enjoy her ...more
Tim Pinckney
Apr 23, 2018 rated it liked it
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. ...more
Eric Peterson
Apr 13, 2020 rated it really liked it
I've been a big fan of Mordden's most of my life, but I'm not sure who the audience for this book is except for hardcore theater fans and people who might actually be involved at some point in a production of "Chicago". (I am both) ...more
May 06, 2018 rated it really liked it
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.
Abby P.
Jan 21, 2021 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: entertainment
Listened to audio version, not read by author. Narrator acted out voices every so often which I wasn’t a fan of.

Content however was enjoyable. Author delved into history of the city of Chicago, musicals in general, and obviously, the play/musical/movie Chicago. Fans of Broadway will enjoy.
Dec 24, 2020 rated it liked it
fun read about the play's history and how it evolved... Razzle -Dazzle indeed ...more
Feb 22, 2021 rated it it was amazing
A great history of the show Chicago from original script to a few different films, to the musical. Ethan Mordden write great histories that are filled with information and easy to read.
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