Chicago Gives BHS The Ol’ Razzle Dazzle
by Jasmine Lau and Namita Arunkumar
Class of 2016
With each new school year comes a new school musical, and this year the BHSTG did not disappoint with their production of the popular play Chicago.
Inspired by the 1920’s trial cases of Beaulah Annan and Belva Gaertner, the story of Roxie Hart begins in the restless city of Chicago with the murder of her lover, Fred Casely, after he attempts to leave her. Shortly after Roxie convinces her husband, Amos Hart, that the man she murdered was a burglar, he finds out the truth and she gets thrown in jail. There she encounters the murderesses of Cook County Jail, including the one-and-only Velma Kelly, former vaudevillian and murderer of her own sister and husband. As Roxie’s case makes the headlines, she develops dreams of becoming a famous vaudevillian once she is found innocent. From pretending to be pregnant to acting as the ventriloquist’s doll of her lawyer, Billy Flynn, Roxie struggles to maintain her celebrity status from behind bars. Just as she is found innocent on the day of her trial, the public loses interest and Roxie is forced to accept Velma’s offer of becoming a vaudevillian duo.
A play as large and famous as this one required a versatile and talented cast, and the actors did not disappoint. Maverick Lydon Shay (Roxie Hart) and Emily DiGiusto (Velma Kelly) carried the play on their shoulders and truly showed themselves to be “triple threats” with their many monologues, solos, and dance numbers. It was easy to see that Shay and DiGiusto had good chemistry, which manifested itself in their quality acting. Morgan Brown (Billy Flynn), Deanna Doherty (Matron Mama Morton), Jack Hennessy (Amos Hart), and Jimmy McAuliffe (Mary Sunshine) shone in their own right with their individual numbers as well as scenes with the two leading ladies. The excellent performance by the Merry Murderesses also added some comic relief with the short, humorous monologues which provided distorted, yet entertaining, justifications for their various murders. As a whole, the entire cast did a phenomenal job in conveying the corrupt undertones of 1920’s society and all deserve kudos for their excellent acting.
In addition to the outstanding performances of the cast members, the set designs and costumes of Chicago were on point and historically accurate. The hard work put in by the director as well as the cast and crew was made evident from the opening scene of the play. Overall, the BHSTG starts off the year strong with their production of Chicago and leaves the public in eager anticipation of the One Act Plays in March.