Chicago = Bertolt Brecht

A few days back, I posted a review of the current Australian production revival of Chicago. While watching the show, I couldn’t help but think just how relevant Chicago is for students of theatre, particularly those familiar with German practitioner Bertolt Brecht and his Epic Theatre style.

Why? Well, the stage version of Chicago has:

  • numerous examples of direct character address to the audience
  • narration of upcoming action
  • virtually no set defining location or environment for various scenes
  • the show band in all its glory on stage for the audience to see
  • dialogue interaction between characters in the show and the conductor of the band
  • offstage cast members onstage, sitting down the sides of the band in full audience view
  • lighting trees and instruments in full audience view

Brecht would have loved it!

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