Chicago Review

%22Chicago%22+Review

"Chicago" Review

LAUREN BARTLETT Publication Chief

Photo courtesy of Piedmont College Theater Department

14479637_1122074204495206_9204081670604228087_n

The Piedmont College Department of Theater presented their first main stage show of the year when they brought a 1920’s Chicago to our very own Demorest, Georgia.

The show “Chicago” opened on Thursday, September 29 in the Swanson Center Main Stage and ran through Sunday, October 2. The show started with an opening number of All That Jazz, a classic tune that had everyone’s feet tapping. The plot of Chicago is the journey of the women of Chicago and their stories of murder.

The two main characters, Roxie Hart, played by sophomore theater major Hannah Skelton and Velma Kelly, played by senior musical theater major Cheyanne Osoria, as they fight for the hopes of getting out of jail free and gaining the attention of the press. Into the first act, the ensemble performed the song, Cell Block Tango. This scene was one of my favorites because the ladies told their stories of how they got in jail and the overall number was done flawlessly. The mixture of the set, music and dance moves set up the perfect visual of a performance in a jail cell.

One of the members of the ensemble, Liz/Pop was played by junior theater arts major Chelsea Gittens. When asked about opening night, Gittens said, “Opening night was fantastic. The audience was terrific, the actor’s energy levels were high and the whole atmosphere was fun.”

One of the other good numbers in the show was We Both Reached For the Gun. This scene involved the ensemble, Roxie Hart and Billy Flynn. Sophomore theater arts major Aleek Reed played the role of Flynn. Reed portrayed this character perfectly with that grimy charm and only, “cares about love.” And, the well-done note he held at the end of the number was definitely a crowd pleaser.

Chair of the Theater Department Bill Gabelhausen directed Chicago. “I was thrilled with opening night performance of Chicago. The show is delivered directly to the audience and the cast really needed that element,” said Gabelhausen. “The audience energized the actors and the storytelling became enhanced beyond belief. We had terrific opening night audience.”

Another one of the scenes that caught my eye was the Razzle Dazzle number. This scene involved the use of white gloves and hats against black lights, and the turnout was very impressive. Another number in the second act that caught my attention was the scene between Velma and Matron “mama” Morton. Matron “Mama” was played by junior theater performance major Hannah Ritter. The scene they performed was called Class. I really enjoyed this song because it was about how the world is different than it used to be and a lot of people in the world can be mean and classless.

This, unfortunately, still stands for the present time. It was interesting to see how a song meant for the 1920’s time era still fits into today. Despite how mature some of the content was, the young actors involved in the show portrayed the 1920’s Chicago scene with elegance and maturity.

The set was very simple and mainly consisted of two views of the Chicago skyline. The colors from the light designers were a good mixture of purple, blue, red and pink.

Chicago is a very well-known play and there were high expectations to see if college students could pull it off. Well, I say, mission accomplished.