‘Chicago’ cast unites to stun audience

Weeks of hard work by the LOHS performing arts department culminated in six unforgettable showings of “Chicago”, where the cast’s preparation and talent brought the breathtaking energy of the 20s to life in the auditorium.

The choice to perform this musical contrasted heavily with previous productions such as “Cinderella”, but seniors Kelly Simmons and Ryan Miller felt that it was the right choice. Miller expressed the excitement that “Chicago” was able to bring to the cast due to its popularity, as well as the way that it pushed many cast members to take on roles outside of their typical experiences. “It’s a show for us,” Simmons concluded.

One of the differences between this production and previous musicals was the variety of dynamic characters. Simmons starred as Roxie Hart, and she described how the constant engagement of each cast member, encouraged “a lot of interaction, which is great for building community, which we’re really trying to do in the drama community right now.”

Miller’s role as female reporter Mary Sunshine offered a different perspective. He added, “I really enjoyed, of course, exploring a female character because I don’t really get to do that … breaking my boundaries.”

Co-starring as murderess Velma Kelly, senior Abigail Brown enjoyed “finding the similarities and also the big differences between me and Velma,” learning that her natural sarcasm aligned with her character, while Velma’s mean-spirited disposition helped to push her acting skills.

Despite the differing experiences of each cast member, one thing they all observed was the way that “Chicago” united the cast and helped break down divisions within the large group. Miller emphasized the large divide that has historically separated the leads and ensemble members, describing, “although that divide is still kind of there, it’s definitely been bridged way more than I’ve seen in all of the past four years.”

Brown also found the larger cast to offer opportunities to branch out because of the increased diversity. “I became friends with people who I wouldn’t have met otherwise,” she mentioned.

Ultimately, all of the rehearsal slip-ups, missed quick changes, shared jokes and cast bonding built up to create an engaging experience for actors and audience alike. Miller stated that “Chicago” is “breaking barriers for a high school production.”