By Taylor Landcaster
We’ve had it coming. Georgia College’s rendition of Chicago, a highly popular Broadway musical based in the 1920s about a murderess’ ploy to get out of prison, has been almost three years in the making.
“Chicago has been on the faculty list for two and a half 2 1/2years,” Karen Berman, the musical’s director, said.
Berman said the department has been persistent in its pursuit of the rights to perform Chicago at GC while the show is currently still on Broadway.
“It’s very rare that a show is released to academic institutions when it’s still on Broadway,” Berman said. “The royalties company is very particular about who they let do Chicago.”
After countless phone calls with New York, Chicago is finally here. Based on true events, the show follows the story of Roxie Hart after she murders her lover and is sent to the corrupted women’s cellblock in the county jail. The show promises to be fun, visually stunning, and above all, sexy.
“The audience is going to feel the tension, the sexual tension,” Alex Johnston, one of the male dancers, said. “We’re bringing a lot of sex to the table.”
The show boasts over twenty 20 uniquely choreographed musical numbers, numbers such as “Razzle Dazzle” and the famous “Cell Block Tango.” Each number will be musically performed by the Georgia College Jazz Band, which will be sitting on an 8-foot high platform above the stage for everyone to see.
“I feel like what we’re used to at GC are Jukebox musicals, not true-blue musicals,” Zack Bradford, stage manager said. “With Chicago, the scenes and the songs and the show are all meshed together, everything communicates with each other, and brings more to the next piece.”
Since early in the semester, more than fifty 50 members that compose the cast and crew have been working diligently to bring the show to life.
“It’s definitely the most hardworking cast I’ve ever been on,” said Harlee Pope, who plays Velma Kelly in the show said. “Everybody takes their job and performs it to the max, and that’s why everything works really well.”
Pope, a sophomore Theater major, has dreamed of playing Velma since she was nine years old. Ten years later, that dream is coming true.
“The role is everything I’ve ever wanted and more. I’d say it’s one of the best things that’s ever happened to me,” Pope said. Pope claims that much of the cast, herself including, put in upwards of fifteen to twenty 15-20 hours a week from vocal coaching, dance rehearsals, and even cardio exercise to stay in shape for dance numbers.
“I want everyone on the edge of their seat, begging to listen. You’ll never be bored,” Pope said. “I hope this show makes you want to get on stage and start performing, and if not, I hope the vibes from the show inspire you to dare to be different.”
Daring to be different seems to be the name of the game, or the show, if you will.
“What makes our show unique is that it’s in Roxie’s mind, which is quite different than the Broadway version,” Berman said. “We also break reality in the show because we’ve got projections of various images and video from the 1920s.”
With a cast of twenty-three members, the show also claims to bring a variety of faces and personalities to the stage.
“We have a variety of people in the show,” said Madison Smith, Velma understudy and sophomore Theatre major, said. “Like, it’s not just tiny girls and tall guys, we’ve got all shapes and sizes, and I think that really adds to the show.”
Tickets for Chicago can be purchased now at gcsutickets.com or on a first come first serve basis at the door. The show will run Feb. 24 through Feb. 27 at 8:00 p.m. and Feb. 28 at 2:00 p.m.