John Burroughs High School Drama Department presents Chicago: High School Edition for three shows on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, February 7 – 9. Students and teachers in the Drama, Choir, Instrumental Music, Dance and Tech Crew programs have joined forces for this high-energy musical production.
From the book by Fred Ebb and Bob Fosse, based on the play by Maurine Dallas Watkins, with music by John Kander and lyrics by Ebb, the high school version of Chicago still features the audience favorites “All That Jazz,” “Cell Block Tango” and “Nowadays.”
Set in the roaring 20s, the story follows the travails of Roxie Hart and Velma Kelly, who, with the aid of lawyer Billy Flynn, seek acquittal for their murder convictions and the freedom to dance and sing the nights away once again.
“We have all had so much fun working on this iconic script and timeless story with Fosse’s instantly identifiable choreography and fingerprint!” commented director and Drama teacher Guy Myers. “Our choreographer, Jen Stanley, has managed to get the stylistic precision just right, and has inspired our students to capture the spirit of vaudeville.”
“After winning Best Orchestra last year for West Side Story, Taylor Arakelian is once again conducting our talented student musicians this year!” he added. “The impressive steel bridge structure that spans the length of our stage was built by our dedicated tech crew, led by their teacher, Jon King.”
“Every single song in Chicago will have the audience cheering, and our vocal director, Brendan Jennings, has worked his magic with our student voices yet again!” Myers continued.
“I could not be more grateful to be a part of Chicago!” commented senior Jordyn Holt. “Being transported into the Jazz Age is so much fun. Portraying Roxie has definitely been an incredible challenge for me. Not only does this classic demand so much physically, but her unquenchable thirst for fame has required me to really push myself emotionally.”
“It’s been so rewarding to uncover different layers of the vaudevillian star with the help of Mr. Myers and our awesome student producers, Amanda Sanchez and Ariana Kretz,” Holt added. “I am thrilled to sing my heart out alongside my best friends, and I know that this experience will prepare me immensely for the future. Let’s go out with a bang!”
“Playing Billy Flynn in Chicago has been a blast,” said senior Eli Staub. “Ultimately, his role is that of a master manipulator, and he will stop at nothing to get what he wants. I’ve never played a character this cruel, but also one this entertaining – and iconic. I’m looking forward to opening night.”
“Along with Amanda Sanchez, I have had the pleasure of working as the student producer for Chicago,” commented senior Ariana Kretz. “Together, we have kept track of the student’s blocking, headshots, rehearsal schedules, costumes and props.”
“It’s been a pleasure to work with such a supportive cast, who never fail to make me feel welcomed and loved. Throughout the process, it’s been incredible to watch the growth of the actors in the show. Students who have never been in a play or musical before have grown into their parts beautifully, and I’m ecstatic for everyone to see their hard work!”
“As with every Guy Myers production, Chicago goes above and beyond in its staging and design, and I am proud to be even a small part of such a wonderful show,” Kretz also said.
“Being able to slip into the role of Velma has been a dream,” commented senior Janina Colucci. “I’ve always loved expressing myself in extreme forms – as Velma I can do just that.”
“She’s fiery, feisty, and fun allowing me to be extremely over the top and give it my all. Not only do I love who I’m playing but who I’m performing with as well,” Colucci added. “Jordyn, my girl for life, is such a strong and talented performer, making my job easy and incredibly fun. The cast loves the show and I hope everyone loves it as much as we do!”
“This is the twelfth year the performing arts department has collaborated on a mainstage musical, and this one is going to bring sparkle, sass and, well,…all that jazz! You won’t want to miss this one!” Myers also said.
Tickets for Chicago: High School Edition are available online in advance of the show here and at the box office ahead of each performance. Tickets are $25 general admission, $20 for seniors and $10 for students.
Curtains rise for Chicago: High School Edition at 7:00 p.m. on Friday and Saturday, February 7 and 8, and at 2:00 p.m. on Sunday, February 9. The John Burroughs High School auditorium is located at 1920 W. Clark Avenue in Burbank and plenty of free parking is available in adjacent lots.