Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Chicago (2002 movie)
Velma Kelly is a nightclub star whose celebrity is only increased by her double murder of her adulterous husband and her sister. Roxie Hart is a nobody who dreams of the fame of and wealth of a singing career. When she shoots her abusive lover, who lied about his ability to get her a job as a performer, she is sent to murderess' row. There she meets Velma Kelly. Facing death row, Roxie hires Billy Flynn, Chicago's best lawyer, who promises to turn her case into a celebrity murder trial and get her acquitted. Flynn manipulates the press and the public and Roxie becomes famous. When Billy recognizes Roxie's potential, Roxie and Velma become locked in a rivalry to outdo each other in stardom.
The show was inspired by the musical Chicago which enjoyed a successful revival in the mid-1990s. The theater production's musical numbers are staged as vaudeville pieces. This made the picture somewhat difficult to adapt from stage to screen. The movie version interpreted this by presenting the musical numbers as occurring in Roxie's fantasies.
The movie starred Renée Zellweger (Roxie Hart), Queen Latifah (Matron 'Mama' Morton), Catherine Zeta-Jones (Velma Kelly), Richard Gere (Billy Flynn), John C. Reilly (Amos Hart), and Christine Baranski (Mary Sunshine). It was directed by Rob Marshall.
All principal actors did their own singing and dancing in the film. Zeta-Jones and Latifah previously had professional music careers and Reilly and Baranski had had musical theater experience. Gere was the most experienced of the leading cast in that area, and needed only minimal rehearsal. He did, however, require tap dance instruction before shooting his courtroom tap dance routine. Zellweger had never sung or danced professionally.
- "All That Jazz"
- "Funny Honey"
- "When You're Good to Mama"
- "Cell Block Tango"
- "All I Care About"
- "We Both Reached for the Gun"
- "I Can't Do It Alone"
- "Mister Cellophane"
- "Razzle Dazzle
- "Nowadays (Roxie)"
- "I Move On"
An additional song, "Class", performed by Queen Latifah and Catherine Zeta-Jones was filmed, but it was cut from the movie. The footage was later included on the DVD release and the song was included on the soundtrack album.
The movie is based on the Kander and Ebb Broadway musical, Chicago, in its turn based on the Maurine Watkins play, Chicago , which was in turn based on the stories of two Jazz-era killers, Beulah Annan and Belva Gaertner.
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