Audiences are invited to “slick your hair and wear your buckle shoes…” and buy tickets for Trumbull High School’s production of Chicago: High School Edition.
Trumbull High performers will take the stage March 15, 16, 17, 22, and 23 to present the classic Kander and Ebb tale of the gritty, greedy world of crime and jazz in 1920s Chicago.
Over 100 students have been at work since December to bring the award-winning musical to life on the THS stage.
Under the stage lights, the story of Roxie Hart and Velma Kelly, two celebrated murderesses of jazz-era Chicago, unfolds in the capable hands (and dancing feet) of senior Jacqueline Mate and sophomore Caroline Marchetti. They are supported by slickster lawyer Billy Flynn (played by senior Thomas Leonard) and unassuming husband to Roxie, Amos Hart (played by Harrison Gilberti, also a senior).
A challenge of mounting a production of Chicago, says director and THS English teacher Jessica Spillane, is keeping these unrepentant, sometimes despicable, characters strangely likable to the audience. “These individuals seek power, each one for their own advancement, for that is how one survives and thrives in 1920s Chicago. Human connection and empathy do not exist in their world of narcissism. And yet, somehow, we’re drawn to them; we’re captivated because their amorality is mesmerizingly entertaining. The unnerving experience of seeing Chicago is that you leave a little dazzled by these deeds; we’re unsettled by their bad behavior but aren’t quite able to look away.”
Sophomore cast member Rachel Weintraub notes, “...people sometimes view it as a campy musical, but it really does have a message that makes you think.”
2019 marks the first time that the musical Chicago is available in a high school edition. While the original story itself remain intact, minor changes have been made to lyrics and lines and one song has been eliminated. In addition, the role of the ensemble is expanded to afford more opportunities for a larger cast to be involved. “The current Broadway revival is done with a cast of about 20 but we are able to use a cast of 45, offering more onstage opportunities for students,” says dance captain and four-year musical veteran Ali Karpowich. “Every different musical has brought new insight on life and it has been an absolute joy to spend time with my best friends,” she continued.
Performances are on March 15, 16, 22, and 23 at 7:30 p.m., with a matinee performance on Sunday, March 17, at 2. Tickets are $17 and $20 and seating is reserved. Tickets are available at www.THSmusicals.com.