Set in the 1920s, we follow the story of two female protagonists, Velma Kelly and Roxie Hart as they plead innocence to murder charges to which they are both quietly guilty. Velma has murdered both her husband and her sister (part of the double act for which she was famous) after catching them in bed together, and Roxie shoots and kills Fred Casley, a nightclub regular who has promised her fame and fortune but really only wants to get her into bed!
Amos, Roxie’s adoring husband, willingly takes the blame for the shooting Fred however when he discovers that she had ‘intimate relations’ with him he quickly lets the police know the truth. Roxie is taken to prison where she meets other murderesses, including Velma who feels threatened by the new addition to the gang and consequently treats Roxie terribly.
The character Mama looks after the women’s prison and indeed the inmates individually, should they be able to pay for her help. Mama had been solely concentrating on helping Velma however Roxie is diverting her attentions. With Roxie now on the scene she is not only the new gossip about town, but she is also slowly becoming Billy Flynn’s (the lawyer who only ‘cares about love’) favourite client.
Flynn organises a press conference to bring some media attention to Roxie’s story in the hope of getting the public on her side. Now Roxie isn’t the sharpest tool in the box and after changing Roxie’s story to make her look like she was the victim, their press conference turns into somewhat of an act of ventriloquism. Roxie soon replaces the enangered Velma in the minds and hearts of the people of Chicago. Velma tries her luck asking Roxie to be the other half of her original act but now with all the power, Roxie smirks and is able to turn the once threatening Velma down.
Roxie’s feeling of empowerment doesn’t last long as she realises that her own headlines have been wiped by some new lusting female criminal so she feigns a pregnancy to get back in the papers. Suddenly Roxie is back in the City’s heart and Roxie’s equally educationally stunted husband excitedly announces that he is going to be a Father as he too falls for the scam.
Flynn successfully wins Roxie’s acquittal after stealing all of Velma’s ideas and giving them to Roxie, however, when a new magnificent criminal steals the limelight and Roxie loses her celebrity status once again, she decides to team up with the weakening Velma and they perform her original double act in a sensational finale.