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All That JazzThe Life and Times of the Musical Chicago$
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Ethan Mordden

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780190651794

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: February 2018

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780190651794.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 27 November 2021

The Musical

The Musical

“No Show Is Worth Dying For”

(p.137) 8 The Musical
All That Jazz

Ethan Mordden

Oxford University Press

This chapter analyzes and discusses the performance of Chicago, which opened in 1975. Here were the key elements of Fosse’s art, the carnal act on one hand and, on the other, the indefinable American something that toys with our imaginations and infuriates the authorities. Sex and jazz worked as a set, like crime and show business in the early talkie. The chapter argues that in his faithful adaptation of Maurine Watkins’ play, Fosse brought out all the bawdy chaos that “Chicago” meant in American mythology. To close, the chapter discusses the reception of the musical as well as the inevitable changes in the cast after the first several hundred performances of Chicago’s initial run.

Keywords:   musical, Chicago, Bob Fosse, Gwen Verdon, jazz, sex, crime, show business, American mythology, Broadway

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