We began as if the show had never existed before on Broadway, and we banished the word “revival.” I decided the real perception challenge here was to make it clear from the get-go that with all the budget in the world, our bandstand and bentwood chairs were all the spectacle we needed. But how?
It occurred to me that when Calvin Klein ran a black-and-white fashion ad (Marky Mark and so on), no one perceived it as if Klein lacked the budget to run color—it was clearly an aesthetic choice. So we decided to use the device of fashion photography to own the minimalism from the start.
The other rule we somehow understood intuitively was about sex. The Chicago women were sexier than Broadway had ever been, thanks to William Ivey Long’s stunning costumes and a gorgeous, leggy cast. But what allowed them to be genuinely sexy in the newspaper was their power. No behind-bars settings for this Chicago. It would have made the women victims. By allowing them to control their image from the start, they could be sexy—sexy as hell.
Creative Direction: Drew Hodges
Designer: Drew Hodges / Vinnie Sainto
Photographer: Max Vadukal