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Chicago musical makes triumphant Swiss debut

Anna Montanaro (centre) plays Velma Kelly on the Basel stage.

(Chicago the Musical)

"Chicago" - the Broadway musical about death, greed and revenge in the 1920s city of gangsters - has taken Switzerland by storm.

After showing in New York, London, Sydney, Vienna and Berlin, the acclaimed musical had its Swiss premiere in Basel on Monday.

Written and choreographed by Bob Fosse, with music by John Kander, "Chicago" was first staged in New York in 1975 and revived 20 years later. The winner of six Tony Awards and a Grammy in the US, "Chicago" was also a big hit in London's West End and won the 1997 Olivier award for best musical production.

The German-language version of the Broadway hit stars Anna Montanaro and Anne Mandrella in the main female roles, with Cusch Jung and Ilja Richter playing the male leads.

"Chicago" is the story of two femmes fatales - Roxie Hart and Velma Kelly -who kill their men out of jealousy and rage. In prison awaiting trial, the women hatch a plan to win their release from jail and launch glittering Broadway careers.

The action plays out against the backdrop of 1920s Chicago, with its gangsters, corrupt lawyers and intrigues. Despite the violence, the play has been described as bitingly witty and very sexy.


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