Fall Musical Showcases Brand New High School Edition of Chicago

The longest-running American musical in Broadway history is coming to the Lora M. Robins Theatre Oct. 18-20.

By Kendall Shamus ‘20

Come see the fall musical Chicago—High School Edition in the Lora M. Robins Theatre running October 18-20 with performances at 7 p.m.

This show is directed by Steward’s Middle School theatre and Upper School public speaking teacher, Susan Sanford. This version of Chicago is the high school version, which makes it age-appropriate to be performed at Steward. The high school version tones down some of the more risqué elements of the show, but the most important parts of the show are not cut out.

The musical follows several characters as the town of Chicago is holding murder trials for multiple women who have murdered their husbands or lovers. Velma Kelly (played by Evelyn Dumeer ‘19), one of the Merry Murderesses, is the first of these women to be put on trial. But her spotlight is soon stolen by Roxie Hart (played by Corrine Brager ‘19), who has also committed a murder. Both Velma and Roxie use the most prodigious lawyer in all of Chicago, Mr. Billy Flynn (played by Trace Coles ‘19). Billy Flynn focuses on always having the most popular client and getting his client publicity from Mary Sunshine (played by Kendall Shamus ‘20), one of the most famous reporters in the area. When the girls are not working with Billy Flynn, they are in jail under the supervision of Mama Morton (played by Mara Beck ‘21) along with the other Merry Murderesses (played by Morgan King ‘19, Hailey Wharram ‘21, Zoe Macgill ‘22, Nancy Walker ‘22, and Jayden Satter ‘22) .

Susan Sanford, when asked about her favorite part of the show, said, “My favorite part of Chicago—High School Edition is working with kids who really want to be here and have a passion for theatre. They have a respect for the art form and want to be challenged.” Talking about the best part of directing the show, she said, “As hard as it has been, I’d have to say trying to honor the style of Bob Fosse (the original director and choreographer of the 1975 production) but also make it achievable for younger actors/dancers so that they feel successful.”

Mara Beck is the sophomore playing Mama Morton, who is in charge of all the girls in the jail and takes the newbies under her wing. Mara describes her character as “a very tough and sassy person. I think it is awesome that I get to portray her, because I have never played a character who is so much the opposite of me. Getting to be this strong and independent character is one of my favorite aspects of this show.” When Mara was asked her favorite part of the show experience so far she said, “The best part has definitely been getting closer with the cast. We are all there for each other for whatever is needed, and I just think that’s so awesome.”

Come see Mara and the rest of this fabulous cast October 18-20 in the Lora M. Robins Theatre at 7 p.m. Admission is free! Following the final performance on Saturday, International Thespian Society Inductions will be taking place for the newest members of Steward’s very own International Thespian Society troupe!

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