Pensacola State College’s performing arts department put on a fall production of the well known Broadway musical Chicago.
Chicago is a racy, controversial musical based in the 1920’s Prohibition-era. This play sports two strong female leads, Roxie Hart and Velma Kelly, who are at each other’s throats fighting their way to the top of the Chicago show biz scene.
However, they need the assistance of lawyer Billy Flynn in order to wash the blood off their hands first. In the beginning of the play, Velma Kelly viciously murders her husband and sister, and Roxie Hart kills off her secret lover. As a result, both women plot to get out of death row by gaining fame and adoration from the public.
This production of Chicago was directed by Rodney Whatley. Whatley teaches Acting I & II, Intro to Theatre, Directing I, Dramatic Literature, and Rehearsal & Performance at Pensacola State College.
Nethaneel Williams is a theatre major at Pensacola State and the dance captain of the production.
“My favorite part about being in Chicago is the dancing,” said Williams. “The costumes are also amazing! Edee Green is the costume designer for the play. The crowd will definitely be impressed.”
Williams also added that the cast rehearsed from 7 to 10 p.m. Monday through Friday for the past month. When asked how the play differs from the movie, Williams said, “They are very similar but the play has its own little flare about it. If you like the movie you should really watch the play!”
Brittany Mulcahy, also studying theatre at Pensacola State, plays Go-to-hell Kitty in Chicago and is a dancer as well.
“I am very excited about the dancing and the costumes,” said Mulcahy. “For one of my costumes I even get to wear a strait-jacket!”
Liza Wenzel, theatre major at Pensacola State, plays the role of one of the female leads, Velma Kelly. Wenzel has also participated in several other Pensacola State productions such as West Side Story and The Sound of Music.
“My character, Velma, is one tough cookie,” said Wenzel. “Velma Kelly is a shining star that can’t stand when anyone else tries to steal the spotlight, which is exactly what Roxie Hart tries to do.”
According to Wenzel, Chicago should only be viewed by a mature audience.
“Do not bring your five-year-old to this play!” said Wenzel. “If I were to rate the play as if it were a movie, I would give it a high PG-13 rating. Some profanity is used throughout the play and some of our costumes are very scandalous.”
If you are interested in auditioning for any future productions be sure to check out the theatre page on the school website. Auditions for the spring production of John Steinbeck’s Of Mice and Men will be held on Jan. 9 and 10, 2012 at 7p.m. in the Ashmore Fine Arts Auditorium.