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Chicago The Musical Vs. The Film

Chicago was revived and has been running on both Broadway and The West End since 1996. The 2002 film gave the musical widespread fame. In fact, it won the Best Picture Oscar- the first time a musical won the award since Oliver! in 1968. But despite it's fame as both a movie and as a live performance, there are many distinct differences between the two.

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The Score / Via

Only the stage version includes the entire score written by Kander and Ebb. This includes "I am My Own Best Friend", "Me and My Baby", "When Velma Takes the Stand", "I Know A Girl" and "A Little Bit of Good". These were cut in the film version due to the limited screen time. Also, "Class" the duet between Mama Morton and Velma was originally filmed but later cut.

Fun Fact: The film actually had some additional pieces composed by Danny Elfman such as "Chicago After Midnight" and "I Move On" which ended up winning an Academy Award for Best Original Song.

Sex Appeal / Via

Both the stage and film versions ooze sex appeal. In fact many of the Marketing Campaigns for Chicago in places such as London use sexy images of the stars to keep the show running. The film takes it a whole step further with some particularly risky numbers such as "The Cell Block Tango" and "All I Care About".

The Cast


Numerous celebrities have starred in lead roles, one may even say that the show is kept alive based on the cast it can create. Some big names include...

Velma- Chita Rivera, Bebe Neuwirth

Billy- Kevin Richardson (former Back Street Boy), Billy Ray Cyrus, Usher, Jerry Springer

Roxie- Michelle Williams (Former Destiny's Child singer), Ashlee Simpson, Brooke Shields (both on Broadway and the West End), Christie Brinkley, and Melanie Griffith

Mama Morton- Sofia Vergara, Kelly Osbourne

Of course the film is known for its incredible line up of stunning stars: Catherine Zeta Jones, Renee Zellwegger, Richard Gere and Queen Latifah.

Roxie's "stardom"


One major difference between the film and stage version deals with Roxie. In the film, her success and stardom (portrayed through musical numbers) takes place in her imagination. In the stage version, these numbers are part of reality.

Did you know?


Chicago The Musical is based off of a play written by Marine Dallas Watkins in 1926. As a crime reporter for the Chicago Tribune, she wrote sensational columns documenting the trials of two women (who later became the inspiration for Roxie and Velma) were so popular she decided to write a play.

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