Home Events Wilkes University Theatre Presents “Chicago”

Wilkes University Theatre Presents “Chicago”

by Gabrielle D'Amico
Olivia Schanbacher as Velma Kelly and Olivia Scarborough as Roxie Hart

UPDATED ON APRIL 8:

Wilkes University Theatre presents “Chicago,” a dazzling and heart-stirring musical with music by John Kander, lyrics by Fred Ebb, and book by Ebb and Bob Fosse. Performances will be held on April 8, 9 and 10 at the Dorothy Dickson Darte Center for the Performing Arts, 239 S. River St., Wilkes-Barre, Pa.

Revised performance schedule:

8 p.m. on Friday, April 8

2 p.m. and 8 p.m. on Saturday, April 9

2 p.m. and 8 p.m. on Sunday April, 10

This will mark the final Wilkes production of director Joseph C. Dawson, associate dean of the College of the Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences and associate professor of theater, before his retirement at the end of the academic year. Dawson joined Wilkes in 1994 and has directed over 50 main stage shows.

In roaring twenties Chicago, chorus girl Roxie Hart 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. Convicted and sent to death row, 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 sharp-edged satire features a dazzling score that sparked immortal staging by Bob Fosse.

Chicago first opened on Broadway at the 46th Street Theatre in New York City on June 3, 1975. The production, directed and choreographed by Bob Fosse, ran for 936 performances. On Nov. 14, 1996, a revival of the show opened on Broadway at the Richard Rodgers Theatre. It later transferred to Shubert Theatre, and then to the Ambassador Theatre, where, more than two decades later, it continues to run, logging nearly 10,000 performances.

The show that the New York Daily News called, “Wildly entertaining… [with a] dazzling score” includes adult language and subject matter.

The cast includes Olivia Scarborough as Roxie Hart and Olivia Schanbacher as Velma Kelly. Jahel Duran-Diaz is Amos Hart, Kayla Bevacqua is Mary Sunshine, Jack Flynn is Billy Flynn and Kayleigh Evans is Matron Mama Morton. Guest artist and Wilkes alumnus, Carlos Candelario, will play the roles of Fred Casely, Martin and Harry.

Justine Buczynski, Rylee Gaskill, Aari Gould, Jay’na Johnson, Morgan Johnson, Kasey Karoll, Rachel Kern, Amanda Merrick-Tompkins and Raven Wesley round out the cast, with Melodi Wheeler as the stage manager. Olivia Schanbacher is the dance captain with Kasey Karoll as assistant dance captain. Musical direction is provided by adjunct faculty member Ken McGraw, with faculty of practice, Lynne Esgro, as the choreographer.

Tickets are $15 general admission, $10 for students and senior citizens and free for Wilkes students, faculty and staff. Parking, including handicapped-accessible options, are available behind the Henry Student Center located at 84 W. South St., Wilkes-Barre.

Audience tickets can be purchased by calling the box office at (570) 408-4540.

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