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Review of Chicago and Live Performance.png

Chicago the Musical is a filmed musical that encompassed music from John Kander. Fred Ebb provided lyrics for the musical, which focused on a book, authored by Ebb and Bob Fosse. Notably, the musical was about criminals and crimes, as reported by Maurine Dallas Watkins. It comprises of two acts that reveal corruption and satire in the criminal justice administration. The story also depicts the concept of “celebrity criminal”. The film commences with Velma Kelly, who introduces viewers to the show because the story is focused on her. From the story, it is evident that she murders both her sister and husband, as a result of the betrayal she suffered, by finding them in bed together. The second act also commences with Velma welcoming viewers, as she narrates of Roxie’s continual run of luck, informing Billy of the possible tricks regarding his coming trial. On the other hand, “Pirates of Penzance” is a play that features Brandon O’Neill as the pirate king. From the play, Brandon depicts as a no brainer who fitted for the role; however, from his soaring voice and strapping physique, he fills the pirate boots with panache. Evidently, filmed drama and live theater have several differences and similarities. For instance, both utilize musicals that enhance the role of the characters, while at the same time they employ symphony and operas. The difference abounds from the used lighting and the stage.

The given paper compares and contrasts “Chicago the Musical” and “Pirates of Penzance”.

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Firstly, the “Pirates of Penzance” is an O’Neill’s pirate king’s theatre, which talks about the glory of being a pirate. The entire production is anchored on the life of a musical theatre man, whose fame rages from rhythmical voices to the attack on the satirical move of depicting the manners of the British. It is the same as the depiction of both satire and corruption in “Chicago the Musical” film.

Secondly, in the “Pirates of Penzance”, the feeling that is aroused in a viewer is basically that of sweet and colorful depiction. It is a chilling feeling that criminals would harbor while venturing into their duels, which is comparable to the feeling that one gets while watching “Chicago the Musical.” For instance, in the latter, the writer introduces the audience to the most popular “operettas”, which is a presentation of the golden team, while in the former film, there is an opening based on silver plating that was the first cast on the street.

Another comparison abounds from the fact that both genres employ music in their productions. For instance, “Chicago the Musical” incorporates music that accompanies the roles of the characters in its performance (Marshall, Richards and Condon 25). Thus, it can be summed that the music in the filmed drama reveals how crimes are committed and expose the criminal element of the activities. On the other hand, “Pirates of Penzance” also incorporate music in its performance. Music in this live theatrical act is utilized to tip the audience on the next occurrence or what is taking place.

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A comparison thrives from the production levels between the two genres. “Pirates of Penzance” requires prior practice before the live performance, which represents the main event done in front of an audience. On the other hand, “Chicago the Musical” undergoes several production levels. It commences with development, whereby ideas of the film are collected (Hischak 16). The two genres compared on this production level are the same, as well as the pre-production level, whereby casts for the production are selected. The location is also decided at this point. However, a contrast abounds at the production stage because “Pirates of Penzance” is performed live, while “Chicago the Musical” entails the filming of the raw facts of the movie. The comparison also thrives at the post-production level, as Chicago the Musical was edited in regards to sound, images and visual effects, while “Pirates of Penzance” is performed live with variations in lighting and tone as the main effect. Eventually, “Chicago the Musical” undergoes the final production stage, with the distribution of the finished film, whereby it is screened in theaters or watched at home.

Finally, both genres described above did score in their capture of the musical. Firstly, it is evident that the meaning is thoroughly brought out in both genres. For instance, “Chicago the Musical” reveals the nature of crimes and criminals and how corrupt the administration of justice operates. On the other hand, “Pirates of Penzance” also utilizes the main character to reveal how pirates operate. The way they costumed Brandon and his performance add up the musical performance.


In conclusion, various differences and similarities abound between live theatrical performances and filmed dramas. In this context, a comparison thrives between “Chicago the Musical” and “Pirates of Penzance”, as both genres employ the use of music in their performances. The musicals are employed in both productions to facilitate the understanding of the plot of the two genres. There is a major difference in the production levels of the two genres. “Pirates of Penzance”, which is a live performance, undergoes only three stages of production, while “Chicago the Musical” undergoes five stages that are namely development, pre-production, production, post-production and distribution. There is also a similarity in a colorful feeling. It is a result of the materials and costumes utilized in the two productions. Watching both genres was thrilling because of the musical accompaniment and the plots employed.