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Chicago brings the roaring 20s to Lasker Auditorium

Gabe Kolodner
Performers in North’s production of Chicago rehearse in the Lasker Auditorium Thursday, March 14 during the shows Tech week.

Theatre Ink’s performance of Chicago “razzle dazzled” audiences with two hours of dancing, singing, and murder. The show, directed and choreographed by Katie Clark, ran from March 21-24 in the Lasker Auditorium. 

Originally written in 1975 by Bob Fosse and Fred Ebb, the show is loosely based on real events from the Roaring 20s.

 Senior Audrey Sanger, who played Roxie Hart said, “When I found out we were doing this show I was really excited. I love classical musicals like Chicago and I was happy that we were doing a show of that genre.”

Chicago follows the life of Roxie Hart, a woman who has been arrested for the murder of her lover after he tries to end their relationship. Upon hearing that she may receive the death penalty, Roxie hires charismatic Billy Flynn, played by junior Adrian Kalish-Demaris, to be her lawyer. He promises to free her from jail and make her extremely popular in the media. 

In jail, Roxie meets celebrity murderess and former Vaudeville star Velma Kelly, played by junior Nell Ranalli. Immediately, both begin fighting over publicity, headlines in the press, court dates, and potential Vaudeville tours after their acquittals. 

Meanwhile, Roxie’s husband, Amos, played by senior Jack Eagan, feels invisible as his wife takes the spotlight. 

Amos’ song, “Mr. Cellophane” provides perspective into the life of the often-forgotten husband. Donning white gloves to resemble a sad clown, Eagan’s honesty and comedic timing struck a chord with the audience. 

A highlight of the show was the musical performance “Cell Block Tango”, which tells the story of six convicts and the gruesome crimes that landed them in jail. The brilliant dancing and vocals of the song were only one part of the magic that it produced. Despite this song being portrayed in various ways, North put extra effort into the unique style of each character to cater to the individual actor.   Sophomore Anya Sirott, a Wigs, Hair, and Makeup (WHAM) designer for the show said, “The WHAM and costumes team had a really fun idea to make the characters in the ‘Cell Block Tango’ really personalized to the actor.” 

Sirott added that before the show the WHAM designers held a meeting with the actors to ensure they felt confident about their final costumes, hair, and makeup decisions. 

For example, junior Kendall Labrache felt more comfortable wearing a blonde wig as it matched her personal hair color, and senior Sophia Gately saw her character, Annie, as being more mature because she was sent to prison for poisoning. Both of these were taken into account when designing and styling the visuals for the scene. 

According to Sanger, the unity of the cast was critical to their success. Cast members would practice together outside rehearsals to improve their skills and master challenging dance numbers such as Sanger’s “Me and my Baby”. Sanger added that these extra practices allowed them to bring the show to a new level. 

Sophomore Bel Shaw, who played Mona, one of the “Cell Block Tango” Merry Murderesses, added that the camaraderie continued throughout the production. She said, “We would all be silently cheering for those onstage. It was amazing.”

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Maya Solomon
Maya Solomon, Arts Editor
Gabe Kolodner
Gabe Kolodner, Photo Managing Editor
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