Trivia / Chicago

The band:

  • Saved from Development Hell: Stone of Sisyphus was originally Chicago XXII in 1994. It was eventually released in 2008 as Chicago XXXII, after a label change (the original label was one of the main reasons why it wasn't released in '94) and with one track missing.
  • Throw It In!: On a lot of the early albums. Many fans got upset when the false start for "Happy Man" got removed from the Rhino remaster of Chicago VII. Also, listen near the end of "Aire" for a more... humorous example.

The original nonmusical play:

  • Creator Backlash: The author of the original play, Maurine Dallas Watkins, was a devout Christian from a small town. She was so perturbed by the trials that led to the creation the play that she quit her job as a reporter covering murder trials to become a playwright, beginning with Chicago.
    • She would later refuse to sell the play to Bob Fosse, whose wife had asked him to turn it into a musical. Some speculate that this is due to her reluctance to revisit it, likely because she feels guilty for getting the women acquitted due to her reporting. Fosse and his partners did not get the rights until she died, when her estate sold them to Fosse.
  • Reality Subtext: The play is Very Loosely Based on a True Story, adapted from cases the author had reported on. The woman Velma was based on attended the original premiere of the play.
    • The woman Roxie was based on did not attend the original play, instead dying two years after the release of the play from pneumonia. However, she did indeed fake a pregnancy during the trial and divorced her husband shortly after the trial ended.
    • Mary Sunshine is based on the "sob sisters" originated by the Hearst Newspaper company to write sympathetic stories for the accused women. This angle on the murder trials helped sell papers, leading other papers to take up the strategy.
    • There was indeed a woman convicted partially due to her inability to speak English. In reality, she was Italian, not Hungarian. She was later shown to be innocent.

The Broadway musical:

  • Colbert Bump: Of sorts. The 1996 revival was helped by the real-life O.J. Simpson trial, which highlighted celebrity, murder, and getting away with it. One program even described the show as "Outrageous in the 20s, scandalous in the 70s, and now just reads like a documentary."
  • Stunt Casting: The revival has become known for casting well known actors and singers in the three lead roles.

The musical film: