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Monday, December 5, 2016

Musical CHICAGO @ Australian Institute of Music

I'll take you to a musical, “CHICAGO” performed by the final year students of Australian Institute of Music! The story is based on a real fact in 1920s. Satirically, it shows murder favoured by mass media, adultery, corruption, greed for money and fame, sexism, a contradicted or unfair justice system in society. Those are "old and new topics" and relevant to a post modern society. So, "CHICAGO" is great and classic. 
Greedy Mamma
The story goes like this....  
A chorus girl Roxie Hart shoots her lover. Roxie and a cell block rival Velma who shot both husband and a sister in bed compete to get a smooth talking and extremely expensive lawyer, Billy’s help. Otherwise, they would be hung like a Hungarian woman. Gulp!  
Cell Block Tango 
Con Lawyer Billy
Very interesting to see the musical. A stage show has many common factors with (picture book) illustration and movies. Picture book illustrators are compared to film directors. The show demonstrates how to handle character setting, colours, a space and light in a limited place, a stage. For example, the stage has two main colours : black and red. 
Puppet Roxie on Billy's lap surrounded by mass media
Black is the most dominant in the show. What does black mean? It implies something negative, unknown, secret, dishonest and dirty, whilst women in black represent strength, power, authority, seduction and so ons. Red symbolises female, sexiness and passion etc. What else? Only one person, "Mary Sunshine," a crime reporter, putting on a very thick "white" fur coat caught my attention. She was out of tune in black women. What's in her thick coat? Is she really pure and innocent, I wondered.  A great pity is Roxie's honest husband Amos who has been neglected in society.   
Mary Sunshine crime reporter
Pity Husband Amos
Like colours and costume, body language conveys lots of meanings. I admire a creative team led by a director, Barry Quin and their subtle options and creativity. The lawyer, Billy’s body language is full of confidence (* “over confident,” is the point!). Women dance with widely and shamelessly opened legs, as if they were challenging audience and social norms. If feminism examines this musical, it would be interesting. Here, this is "Mary Sunshine" at the end of the story, which comes up like a punch line. She is nothing different from other characters, a bitter and shocking ending. A finale was Velma and Roxie's singing. 
The stage show "CHICAGO" has many typical entertainment elements as well as serious messages. Billy is surrounded by women with white feather fans. Billy, Roxie and Verlma use red sticks for singing and dancing. The classic and popular techniques amuse audience. They overlap the familiar scenes in American popular culture. It is no surprise why this musical holds the longest running record on Broadway. I really enjoyed the show and learned a lot for illustration. 
Friends, do you know? The students study so hard for two years and perform an annual freebie show as their result. Look at each performer's great muscles and sweat! As I have knowledge from life drawing, well-developed muscles show how hard they have worked for ages! I really appreciate their enormous efforts and generosity. Fortunately, I sat next to ladies who had a close relative in the musical. “Since so little, he’s loved singing. Yes, we’re so proud of him,” they said and kindly introduced me to their grandson after the presentation. Through him, I made friends with actors, actresses, a director, back scene players and even, their families, friends.  

I’ve certainly felt the enthusiasm of people at Australian Institute of Music and their dedication for music. They love my sketches and await my blog post. One student remembered me, "You came last year!" Yes, I sketched, "How to Succeed in Business Without Really Try."  Thank you for remembering me. I courteously said thank you for each of them, particularly, back scene workers. They are real heroes! Please put hands together for all the involved people.  
CHICAGO Opening 
I challenged a "mission impossible," sketching a musical in almost darkness! Yet, I sketched a lot. Friends, if you have time, come over this performance next year. You can see a wonderful show and will meet hard working students. They are shining! We chatted over our dreams together. I heartily hope we will make our dreams come true in a competitive industry!  

Btw, my picture book project "My dog Socks" is ongoing steadily. I worked on a commissioned portrait and delivered it to a client. The portrait made the client so happy and excited. Me, too, happy to see her smile. That's the artist's reward. I hope I will make others happy with my art work! 
Friends, Happy Painting and Singing!



  1. Ay, Sadami, cuanto te admiro!! Qué buena eres como persona y dibujando.
    Eso que has hecho de dibujar esas escenas que pasan muy rápidas ante los ojos y has sido capaz de captarlas con su expresión, es una proeza. De gran artista! Te felicito! Dibujar en negro y personas destacadas en rojo, está muy bien.
    La obra de teatro debe ser muy buena, pero tú la has engrandecido con tus dibujos. Bravo!!!
    Un abrazo.

    1. Muchas gracias, Joshemari. ¡También, los bosquejé en casi OSCURIDAD! La gente a mi alrededor dijo: "¡Vaya, estás muy bien!" Esta es la fuerza del dibujo. El dibujo bien capta las expresiones de movimiento, humor y rostro. Me encanta. Saludos, Sadami

      Thank you very much, Joshemari. Also, I sketched them in almost DARKNESS! People around me said, "Wow, you're doing very well!" This is the strength of drawing. Sketching well captures lively movement, mood and face expressions. I love it. Cheers, Sadami

      >>>>>>Joshemari said...
      Oh, Sadami, how much I admire you !! How good you are as a person and drawing.
      What you have done to draw those scenes that happen very fast before the eyes and you have been able to catch them with his expression, is a feat. Great artist! I congratulate you! Draw in black and outlined in red, it's fine.
      The play must be very good, but you have enlarged it with your drawings. Bravo!!!
      A hug.

  2. Wow, sketching in almost dark, you did an amazing job!

    1. Thank you, Judy! If you like, try it. All the people sitting around me said the same. But sketching was fun to capture movement, mood and face expressions. Cheers, Sadami

  3. Enjoyed the story and all the sketches!

    1. Thank you, Catharina! This is the strength of drawing. Sketching well captures lively movement, mood and face expressions. I love it. Cheers, Sadami

  4. Thank you so much for coming to see the show. I have sent the link to this blog to the cast so they can see. Excellent work! Riley (the nephew)

    1. Wow, Riley, thank you very much for your kindness!! It's a great honour to have your feedback. You and all other hard workers in AIM are the real heroes. Please pass my best wishes and special thanks to your friends and to your family members. Your family members are very proud of you. Kind regards, special thanks, Sadami

  5. Oh Wow! what fantastic sketches ! and in darkness :) Thanks for sharing - I am always inpired and pumped when i read your energy filled blogs !

    1. Thank you, Meera! Your cheers always lift me up, when I'm busy with the picture book project, "Socks." Ok, I'll make it happen! Cheers, Sadami