November 14, 2013


Auckland Theatre Company’s stellar season of Chicago is going to be a lot longer than originally planned. On the back of rave reviews and numerous sold-out houses, the highly popular musical has been extended for its third and final time – to Saturday 21 December.

Starring Lucy Lawless, Amanda Billing and Shane Cortese, Chicago opened at Q Theatre on 1 November for a month-long season. Within the first week a number of performances had already sold out. Now, ticket buyers are lucky to get a seat in November.

The reviews have given overwhelming praise to the Michael Hurst-directed musical. The New Zealand Herald’s Janet McAllister said, “With this fabulous, fast-tempoed spectacle of sizzle and sass, Michael Hurst once again proves himself an exceptional director of musical theatre, an auteur of clever, sexy noir with strong conceptual vision and stylistic flourish.”

Nick Grant of the New Zealand Listener said, “Director Michael Hurst and his team of collaborators bring bucket loads of the old razzle-dazzle, with a helping of raunch, to Auckland Theatre Company’s production of Chicago. The cynical 1975 musical’s portrayal of the perversion of the justice system by a corrupt celebrity culture is well served by a staging that’s superb in every technical respect.” 

Set in the legendary city during the Roaring Twenties, an era renowned for organised crime, alcohol prohibition and the very best music, Chicago is the story of jailbird chanteuses Velma Kelly (Lucy Lawless) and Roxie Hart (Amanda Billings) who have both acquired a spot on Death Row. Velma enlists the help of prison matron Mama Morton (Colleen Davis) and smooth-talking lawyer Billy Flynn (Shane Cortese) to turn her incarceration into a media frenzy. But, not one to rest on her laurels, Roxie comes up with a foxy plan to steal back the limelight and, instead of wrangling the law, the two divas find themselves fighting the ultimate battle – the race to superstardom.

Michael Hurst’s production contains all the elements of a contemporary crime drama, like Underbelly or The Sopranos – scandal, corruption, celebrity and barely-clad women. Hurst has brought to the stage a star-studded cast that also includes some of the country’s best burlesque performers. The bold choreography was crafted by the legendary Shona McCullagh and a live band performs the well-known soundtrack that includes All That Jazz, Razzle Dazzle, Mr Cellophane and Class.

This will be Chicago’s final extension. For more information or to book tickets, please visit 

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