Study Guide

Chicago What's Up With the Ending?

What's Up With the Ending?

Shooting Star

When Roxie Hart is found not guilty, it might be the worst thing that happens to her in a while. Sure, she avoids a hanging, but her budding career is basically executed on the spot.

As soon as the paper goes out with the bold INNOCENT headline, another woman commits a crime on the courthouse steps. All eyes are on her… and away from Roxie. "Don't you want to take my picture?" Roxie asks a photographer running for the scene of the crime. "Hey, I'm the famous Roxie Hart!" But she's five seconds too late. She's not famous, and no one is going to remember her name.

Even though Roxie snags an audition at the Onyx, she's already been forgotten. "Didn't she kill a guy a while back?" one guy asks. "Ah, who can keep them straight anymore?" It's all about timing, and unfortunately that's something a person can't always control.

They Can't Do It Alone

Roxie shows fierce determination, even though her road to fame is suddenly much rougher than she expected it to be. But her career, which has stalled before it got going, needs a jumpstart. Velma Kelly is the one to jolt her into action.

Velma can't get her career back on track solo, either. Her stockings have holes in them, showing how poorly she's doing. Maybe Roxie takes advantage of Velma's desperation, but Roxie will be just as desperate before she knows it. When Velma proposes a duo act: "One jazz killer ain't nothing these days. But two…" Roxie takes it.

However, their performance is so spectacular, it's too good to be truly real.It has to be one last dream sequence of Roxie's… meaning we don't get to see exactly how their career pans out.

In Roxie's head, it's a showstopper, and at the end of the performance the crowd goes wild. Flashbulbs pop and men throw roses. Roxie announces "Believe us! We could not have done it without you!" And she's right. Roxie and Velma are famous because of public opinion—not in spite of it.