Chicago a hit!

ChicagoOn May 16 and 17, Dana Hall and Belmont Hill Schools put on a rendition of Broadway’s Chicago. From the seniors acting and dancing, to freshmen who got a chance to be in the spotlight for the first time, each and every performer truly surpassed all expectations for the jaw-dropping show.

Chicago is about Roxie Hart, who is a married chorus girl with hopes of being a headliner in vaudeville. Velma Kelly is a former star performer. They both are murderers. Roxie killed her lover when he walked out on her, and Velma killed her husband and sister, who were having an affair. Chicago’s newspapers love the scandalous details, and Velma is at the top of the headlines. But when Roxie comes along, Velma’s spot in the limelight is taken away. They find themselves competing for not only the press’s attention, but also the focus of their shared lawyer, Billy Flynn. To add even more conflict, there is Roxie’s husband Amos, a prison matron who watches out for her girls, and scandalous affairs. These conflicts expressed through dance and song make up the captivating plot line for Chicago.

Grace Brakeman ’15 and Meaghan Robichaud ’17 took on the show’s female leads, Roxie Hart and Velma Kelly. These two dueled it out on stage for the spotlight the entire show. The Belmont Hill boys took on the male leads with Robert Sayegh as Billy Flynn and Christian Dolan as Amos Hart. The strength of thse performances alone is almost enough to carry the musical. The musicality, vocal range, and raw talent left me wishing I could see the musical again and again. They adapted into their roles flawlessly and with the skill some professionals struggle to achieve. They each performed their own songs, and their dance moves were both fluid and stylistically appealing.

However, the musical could not be done with just the lead characters. The supporting actors and actresses were included in the company and as specialty dancers or singers. These actors and actresses have dedicated many hours tirelessly over the past months to put on a show worthy of being on Broadway. The specialty singers and dancers lived up to their name, and while some of the costumes were not exactly in dress code, everyone looked great and were amazing actors. For seniors such as Leslie Laurie, who was Matron “Mama” Morton, it was an incredible performance to end on.

From the opening heat of “All That Jazz,” to “When You’re Good To Mama,” through the electric “Cellblock Tango,” onto the wistful “Roxie,” then to the playful “Razzle Dazzle” to the all-out “Finale” featuring Velma and Roxie, Chicago was a hit. The choreography, costume & set designs were all terrific, giving the musical the look and feel it rightly deserves.

Stage managers Elizabeth Fulham, Zirui Jiao, and Jieun Lee, the band composed of faculty members David Colman and Meghan McFadden, and parent volunteers ran the show behind the scenes. Moreover, the set really captured the essence of Chicago in the late 1920’s.

Dancer Ashley Davidson ’15 commented, “It was really fun to be in and watch the show progress over the past few months. I loved working with new people and being challenged to sing and act while dancing.”

Congratulations to everyone involved in Chicago – it was an amazing performance!

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