With a music and dance-centric plot there was little to the onstage set aside from a chair, a fire escape ladder, and a full band. The cast conveyed the rich and playful story to scintillating perfection with their razzle dazzling performance and enticing ensambles.
Inspired by the cast’s ability to transport the audience to Chicago’s not-so-distant days of gangs, gin, and jazz with only a few props and the power of their performance, I attempted the same. Highlighting one Chicago neighborhood, I focused on storefronts in Lincoln Park, one of the old haunts of the North Side gang.
1. Anita Jerry Necklace – Sequin, $285; 2. Music Background Rubber Stamp – Paper Source, 14.95; 3. Lace and Satin Slip – Underthings, $84; 4. Patch NYC Solid Perfume – Art Effect, $24; 5. Mug Shots – Art Effect, $18; 6. Chicago Marble Coasters – Art Effect, $44; 7. Feather Tutu – Cynthia Rowley, $330; 8. Vintage 1920’s Compact – Millionaire Rejects, $125; 9. Tulle Garter Belt – Isabella, $30; The Biograph Theater – 2433 N. Lincoln Avenue
From vintage pieces to reproductions, I found incredible Old Chicago inspiration in Lincoln Park. For example, the compact above was one of several in the store which I was told were twirled around by dancing girls in the 1920’s.
1. Sequin Dress – BCBG, $; 2. Frankly Scarlet Powder Blush – MAC, $19.50; 3. Straw Fedora – BCBG, $38; 4. Seychelles Pot of Gold – Lori’s Shoes, $88; 5. Vintage Crystal Decanter Set – Stanley Galleries, $325; 6. Gold Earrings – The Green Goddess Boutique, $45; 7. Micro-Mesh Gloria-V Bodysuit- American Apparel, $44; 8. Jonathan Adler Pill Keychain – Art Effect, $19.50; 9. Men’s Dancing Shoe – American Apparel, $52; 2121 N. Clark Street
Luckily, you won’t have to go so far to see the Cell Block Tango live. CHICAGO the Musical will run June 7-12 at the Oriental Theater. I recommend you stash a flask in your garter and see what all that jazz is all about.