Muny Night – “Chicago”

Pagoda Circle at Night

Monday night was Muny night. Anne and I went to see the musical, “Chicago”. We had been going to the Muny on Monday nights for over twenty-five years, but a couple of years ago we let our season tickets lapse. In all of those years, we never ate dinner at the Muny’s Culver Pavilion. Last night, we met our bicycling buddies, Edie and Rob, there for dinner. The food was good and the company was excellent. When she was younger, Edie had been a Muny dancer and palled around with the likes of Eddie Albert and Douglas Fairbanks Jr. The Muny use to bring in named headliners for each of their shows, but discontinued this practice under the administration of the previous program director. Money that was once spent on their salaries was redirected to boost production values and buy hotter titles. Still it must have been a heady experience to dance with some of the many luminaries that once graced the Muny’s stage.

Speaking of better production values, new this year is a billboard sized LED screen. I didn’t think that it lent much to the evening’s performance, but it’s still new, so give it some more time. They can always start playing the guessing under which cap is the ball hidden game. The Muny already starts with the National Anthem, which invariably ends with someone yelling “Play ball!”

“Chicago” is a musical set in Prohibition-era Chicago. The story is a satire on corruption in the criminal justice system and the concept of the “celebrity criminal”. The original Broadway production opened 1975. The 1996 Broadway revival holds the record for the longest-running musical revival on Broadway and is still playing. The Muny had to get special permission to put on this show.

There was a bit of a floor show put on in the seats directly in front of us. A young couple was busy necking throughout the performance. The fact that his or her mother (still not sure which) was sitting in the row in front of them, didn’t seem to faze them at all, but neither did the hundreds of eyes behind them. Ah, young lust, I mean love. I only mention this because their necking made it difficult to see around them. Thankfully, the ‘production values’ of the musical’s second act distracted the male member from his intended. By ‘production values’, I mean sex. The second act’s production numbers were particularly amped up over the first act. Ah, young love, I mean lust. 😳

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