"Chicago" A Musical Revival

What's all this singing doing in a movie?

By Colin Allen, published on December 1, 2002 - last reviewed on June 9, 2016

'Chicago," opening in movie theaters this month, received eight
Golden Globe nominations this week, beating out all other films this
year, which include critically acclaimed titles such as "Gangs of New
York" and "Adaptation." It falls into a recent string of musical-based
movies achieving popular and critical success, beginning with "Romeo and
Juliet" (1996), then "Dancer in the Dark" (2000), and finally "Moulin
Rouge" (2001). It seems that the musical is now reestablished as a viable
genre—popular enough to stand out in a blockbuster-filled holiday

"I would say that it's an evolution," corrects Stuart Fischoff,
Ph.D., a media expert and professor of psychology at California State
University. "They have taken a musical from Broadway, mixed it in a
beaker with all the current techniques of motion pictures that Hollywood
has to offer, and put it together in this new format."

Unlike its stylistic predecessors, “Chicago's” adoption
of modern filmmaking techniques gives it a chance of surviving the
movie-saturated Christmas season. Previous movies, such as "A Chorus
Line" (1985), failed to break out of the classic musical style—and
subsequently flopped at the box office.

"Young people can identify with ["Chicago"] because of its
edginess, and older people who love the musical can find a new
incarnation of it," says Fischoff. "You have a meeting of generations on
this very beloved genre."

"Chicago" will be released in most theaters on December 27. The
Broadway musical that inspired the movie is currently running at the
Shubert Theater in New York City.

Did you know that music is engrained into our brains?

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