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5 Chicago Musical Favorites At The Muny In St. Louis

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The windy city has come to the Lou with the musical revival of Chicago! It’s a story of murder, intrigue and the Merry Murderesses on death row at Cook County jail. You definitely want to brave the heat at The Muny in Forest Park (did you sing the catchy jingle in your head, too?) and see the Chicago musical before it leaves St. Louis.

chicago musical muny st louis

5 Chicago Musical Favorites At The Muny In St. Louis

Broadway musicals are so very much my thing. I love them all… Phantom of the Opera, Wicked, My Fair Lady, Lion King, Mamma Mia, West Side Story and Les Misérables just to name a few of my favorites. I’ve even seen musical theatre on the West End in London. But you might be surprised to learn that I had never before seen the Chicago musical. I hadn’t even watched the movie. Shocking I know. So the story and all was totally unknown to me. Until last night at The Muny in Forest Park.

My husband and I were able to attend The Muny for media night to kick off the 104th season and it started out with a bang as Roxie Hart shoots her lover Fred Casely. From that introductory incident we were quickly plunged into twenties Chicago. It was an era where the Chicago Tribune and other news outlets often published a barrage of sensational headlines to bring attention to malicious crime and all the people involved. Nightclub dancer Roxie Hart indeed quickly made a name for herself on the front pages. Even her innocent husband was thrown into scrutiny by the tabloid fodder. One has to have a great deal of pity for Amos Hart as the man who goes virtually goes unnoticed by everyone he comes across except for the newspapers. The Harts enlist the services of shady lawyer Billy Flynn and what follows is a twisted path of manipulation, law and order.  

forest park muny seating

Tips for attending The Muny on a hot night in St. Louis:

Our river city gets hot and humid. This week we’ve been under a heat advisory. Be sure to stay hydrated while at the show by drinking lots of water. I also like to tie my hair back and top it with a headband! You can’t tell by this picture but I’m wearing a short cotton dress. Thankfully The Muny does have large fans up above that circulate air. And once the sun does go down behind the canopy of trees, the temperatures do start to cool off ever so slightly. This week is just unusually hot… for June.

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Chicago Musical

Filled with all the razzle-dazzle decadence of the 1920s, Chicago quickly intertwines the lives of vaudeville star Velma Kelly, rival cellmate and chorus girl Roxie Hart, Matron Mama Morton and the rest of the gals in the cell block tango. It’s no surprise that this American musical is one that has grown to be part of Broadway history. And has it won so many awards!

How many awards has Chicago won?

A lot. Of course the musical and the movie are separate, but I’m going to include the awards that both artist renditions have won. I do believe the story line is quite similar, even though I haven’t seen the movie, and the movie is a direct result from the original. Let’s start with the musical version though, shall we?

Tony Awards: Six

Grammy Awards: One

Olivier Awards: Two

Academy Award for the film: Six must be a lucky number, because Chicago on the big screen won SIX Oscars in 2003!

  • Best Picture
  • Best Actress in a Supporting Role (Catherine Zeta-Jones)
  • Best Art Direction – Set Decoration
  • Best Costume Design
  • Best Film Editing
  • Best Sound

*While she didn’t win the Oscar, Renée Zellweger made an even bigger name for herself by being nominated for Best Actress in a Leading Role

Was Roxie Hart a real person?

To find out the answer to this question I had to do a bit of research. While Roxie Hart’s story and her character are fictional, both are inspired by an actual murderess. Murderesses if you include Velma Kelly in the equation.

Roxie’s character is inspired by Beulah May Annan, who became known as the most beautiful woman on Murderess Row. Velma’s character is based on a cabaret singer named Belva Gaertner. The real case of Beulah May Annan is also said to have inspired the original play that the musical has been adapted from. Both women were accused and acquitted of murdering men in their lives.

And now for my 5 Chicago musical favorites…

veefine water bottle black

It’s going to be a hot one all week here in St. Louis. Right now we are even under an excessive heat warning. So make sure to take water with you when you head down to The Muny. You can get my favorite Veefine water bottle HERE.

Favorite Song

Sassy score is definitely the running theme for this Grammy award winning musical. The Chicago musical is set in the roaring 20s when night clubs were the rage and Jazz was the music of choice. It is only fitting that one of the main themes from the musical Chicago is “All that Jazz”. When one thinks of the musical Chicago it is the main song that comes to mind and that is for good reason as it is a catchy tune that will have repeating “all that jazz’ in you head for days after being and audience member. Due to that fact it’s my favorite song in the show. However, I’m also finding myself humming Razzle Dazzle today, too!

Favorite Character

While there are so many favorites to be found you can’t help to not love Roxie Hart. Even though she killed a man! She is one the lead roles for a reason. Hers is a story of jealousy both in love and celebrity status. In the production at The Muny, Sarah Bowden plays Roxie and is she ever talented. Sarah Bowden played the role last year and is back again.

Favorite Set Piece

The lighting design is absolute perfection with even fun elements of pyrotechnics. In terms of set it’s exquisitely well done and put together as it blurs the line between a jail house, court house and a night club. Much of the time the members of the ensemble are seated at table observing the proceeding whether they are in the courtroom. night club or the local lock up. My favorite part of the set was the tables with a lamp on each one that lined the edges of the set. This provided the correct ambiance for the musical and made you envision that you were in a 1920 speak easy. 

chicago musical muny stage set

Favorite Moment

So many of the dance numbers with Chicago’s slickest criminal lawyer (Billy Flynn) are a favorite, but particularly the chorus line number where feather boas are being twirled around the sly attorney in a circle. It’s as if it’s a ferris wheel in perfect formation and quite impressive! You really just have to see it for yourself. Perfectly choreographed and amazing.

Favorite Snack

The Muny knows that its patrons are experiencing musicals in the St. Louis summer and they are never in short supply of tasty treats to cool off the crowd. I saw more than a few people enjoying a Ronnie’s Rocky Mtn ice cream cone and I was one of them! This local favorite is made right here in St. Louis and uniquely can be found at The Muny’s concession stand. Delicious and a must have on a hot night in Forest Park. Just be sure to grabs some napkins to take back to your seat.

muny ronnies rocky mtn ice cream cone

See it for yourself!

Chicago is showing at The Muny in Forest Park now through Sunday, June 19th. Get your tickets HERE.

What’s next at The Muny?

The 104th season is going to be just as magical as always. Cannot wait for this line up.

Chicago (showing NOW): June 13-19

Camelot: June 22-28

Mary Poppins: July 5-13

Sweeney Todd: July 16-22

Legally Blonde The Musical: July 25-31

The Color Purple: August 3-9

Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat: August 12-18

It’s going to be a really amazing season!

Like this post about the Chicago Musical at The Muny?

Get more info about The Muny and other around St. Louis ideas on the blog HERE.


blog owner at Seeing Dandy Blog
A mom blogger for over 15 years, Tara Smith lives in St. Louis, Missouri with her audiologist husband and four kids. Her blog has been featured on local media television shows like News 4 Great Day and Show Me St. Louis, as well as in the Farmhouse Style Magazine for Country Sampler. She loves to travel, explore the Midwest, make crafts and read.

This post could contain affiliate links or be sponsored which means I earn from advertising. Also as an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. More details here.

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