Monday, January 20, 2020

And All That Jazz

"No verla es un crimen"
Not seeing it is a crime

On Saturday Alejandro and I had tickets to see the musical "Chicago" at the Teatro Telcel in Mexico City.  This was the fourth time that we have seen Spanish-language productions of Broadway musicals.  We have seen "The Man of La Mancha", "Wicked" and "Les Miserables" (the last two were also at Teatro Telcel).  All of them were extremely well done.

I have seen "Chicago" on the stage and in the movie theater back home, and I enjoyed both versions very much.  However, this production left me with mixed feelings. 

The production itself was very professionally staged, and the jazz orchestra on stage was excellent.  Two of the actors were standouts… the role of Mama Morton and that of Amos ("Mr. Cellophane").   My problem was mostly with the two female lead roles, Velma and Roxie.  Velma was played by Biby Gaytán, a singer, dancer and actress well known to Mexican audiences for the past thirty years.  To me her voice sounded harsh, and she struck me as an aging star making a comeback.  Neither she nor María León as Velma struck me as having the necessary electricity for their roles.

Alejandro felt the same way.  He thought that the two lead actresses seemed tired, or that they had reached the point where they were becoming bored doing their roles night after night.

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