Submitted by Sheila Mehta-Green on behalf of the BHS Theater Department
The Bedford High School Performing Arts Department will debut Chicago: Teen Edition – opening on Wednesday, March 15.
Chicago: Teen Edition satirizes the corruption of the criminal justice system and the concept of the celebrity criminal. The show will run from March 15 through March 18 in the BHS Auditorium.
The story centers on aspiring chorine Roxie Hart, who murders a faithless lover and convinces her hapless husband, Amos, to take the rap . . . until he finds out he’s been duped, and turns on Roxie.
Awaiting trial in Mama Morton’s prison, Roxie and another “Merry Murderess,” Velma Kelly, vie for the spotlight and the headlines, ultimately joining forces in search of the “American Dream”: fame, fortune, and acquittal.
This musical is based on real people living in Chicago in the 1920s and the city’s historical fascination with women who murder.
Some of the cast members shared what they enjoy most about the roles they are playing. Jennie Noh, a sophomore playing Velma, said she loves playing a strong independent woman and loves seeing everyone’s hard work coming together to create something special.
Zoe Kramer, a senior who plays Roxie Hart, is excited about their first lead role at BHS. They have been acting for more than eight years. One of their favorite parts of the show is their duet with Velma, singing “My Own Best Friend.”
Jacob Choi, a junior who is a featured dancer, loves dancing in “Cell Block Tango,” a role where he gets to be the victim of all six murderesses. He said this is “a challenging and fun role.”
Learning how to “get into character” takes practice! Carolyn Crews, a senior who plays Mary Sunshine, has enjoyed the process of making the character her own. She enjoys experimenting with “how dramatic she can make her character.”
Hayden McAllister, a junior who plays Billy Flynn, watched several productions of Chicago to help him prepare for his role.
Connor McClung, a senior who plays Amos Hart, says “playing Amos is a balancing act, because he is upset most of the time. It is a challenge to manage the right amount of despair for his character.”
Being part of the BHS Theater program helps cultivate friendships and provides learning and leadership opportunities. Cate Galante, a junior playing Matron “Mama” Morton, has been doing theater for 10 years and has made so many great friends and learned so much from her fellow castmates and directing staff.
Parker Anderson-LaPorte, a senior musician in the pit band, said, “Musicals have unique styles that aren’t really found elsewhere, and I love playing new kinds of music. I’ve also definitely learned a lot of practical skills that have contributed to my ability as a musician.”
Maya Singh, a sophomore, is the stage manager and student set designer. She has been working behind the scenes of the BHS Theater program for the last six years. She loves “being able to support people doing what they love to do on stage.” She said, “I enjoy being able to teach and lead people backstage to create a successful performance.”
The production team, led by Artistic Director Katrina Faulstich, includes Vocal Director: James Ham; Pit Band Director: Evan Grunwald; Choreographer: Jessica Martin; Technical Director: Cate Goetschius; Stage Manager/ Student Set Designer: Maya Singh; Assistant Stage Manager: Verla Bowlan; Lighting Designer: Kristyn Brophy; Lighting Mentor: Jackie Cutrona; Sound Designer: Andrew Lum; Costume/Wig Designer: Diya Singh.
Lead and named cast members include: Jennie Noh as Velma Kelly, Zoe Kramer as Roxie Hart, Aleksi Dubaquie-Sanchez as Fred Casely, Dylan DeJesus as Sergeant Fogarty, Connor McClung as Amos Hart, Shannon Sullivan as Liz (“Pop”), Yoana Dimitrova as Annie (“Six”), Ava Derderian as June (“Squish”), Rachel Gould as Hunyak (“Uh Uh”), Emma Purtell as Mona (“Lipschitz”), Henry Lewis as Martin Harrison and Harry, Cate Galante as Matron “Mama” Morton, Hayden McAllister as Billy Flynn, Carolyn Crews as Mary Sunshine, Eve Fombu as Go-to-Hell Kitty, John Mitchell as Judge, Norah Watson as Court Clerk, Evan Kelly as Reporter, and Liam Green as Juror No. 1.
Featured ensemble members include Jacob Choi, Quinn Camborde Turner, Ariel Grossman, Brooke D’Andrea, Julia Giaquinto, Libby Squire, Francesca Pellegrino, Maggie Chessman, Violet Gould, Julian Muelhoefer, Helen Canciello, and Valen Diez.
Ensemble cast members include Kaylee Axtell, Helen Canciello, Maggie Chessman, Carolyn Crews, Brooke D’Andrea, Alynne Dandridge, Dylan DeJesus, Valen Diez, Aleksi Dubaquie-Sanchez, Eve Fombu, Laura Fonseca-Morlock, Violet Gould, Liam Green, Evan Kelly, Henry Lewis, John Mitchell, Julian Muelhoefer, Francesca Pellegrino, Norah Watson, and Chloe Wood.
Dance Captain is Rachel Gould, and Featured Dancers include Quinn Camborde Turner, Jacob Choi, Ava Derderian, Yoana Dimitrova, Julia Giaquinto, Rachel Gould, Ariel Grossman, Minseo Hong, Emma Purtell, Libby Squire, and Shannon Sullivan.
Musicians in the student pit band include Keyboards: Eric Zhang, Emily Zhu; Clarinets: Bryan Bai, Rei Brown; Saxophone: Parker Anderson-LaPorte; Trumpet: Amelie Kelly; Trombones: Evangel Li, Ben Sedran; Violins: Erika Falco., Kate Morrow; Banjo: Cameron Zhu; Bass: Marlowe Tilney; Drums: Zachary Shen.
And nothing happens without the backstage crew: Stage Manager: Maya Singh; Asst. Stage Manager: Verna Bowlan; House Managers; Jessie Komack, Carina Panfili; Backstage Deck: Koa Foster, Mary Bujalski, Emily McDonald; Lights Chief: Jackie Cutrona; Lights: Alice Cooprider, Richard Zaloom; Sound Chief: Andrew Lum; Sound: Charlie Desjardins, Siddarth Nandakishore, Nox Southard, Ishaan Kapuria, Daniel Nappi; Makeup and Hair Chief: Diya Singh; Makeup and Hair: Maddie Mola; Costumes: Christina Lu, Katie Chiu, Shirley Sun; Props Chief: Healy Weisman; Props: Alex Mattson, Dhara Kaushik; Set Construction: Charlie Desjardins, Jackie Cutrona, Maya Singh, Emily McDonald, Alex Mattson, Alice Cooprider, Olly Walton, Andre Bell; Set Décor: Koa Foster, Dhara Kaushik, Maddie Mola, Verna Bowland, Mary Bujalski; Promotional Video: Dillon Denny-Brown.
Chicago: Teen Edition is most appropriate for audiences in middle school and up. The show runs 90 minutes with one intermission.
Tickets are now available to the general public through the Performing Arts Department website: https://bhschorusandtheater.weebly.com/tickets.html. Tickets are $14 for adults and $12 for students and seniors. The online box office will close seven hours prior to each performance time: tickets will be sold at the door if available.
Chicago: Teen Edition is presented by arrangement with Concord Theatricals (https://www.concordtheatricals.com).
Chicago: Teen Edition
Book by Fred Ebb and Bob Fosse
Music by John Kander
Lyrics by Fred Ebb
Based on the play by Maurine Dallas Watkins
Script adaptation by David Thompson