BY GABRIELLA MASTER
OBHS’s production of the 1975 musical “Chicago” will take the stage in the main building auditorium on March 17 at 7pm and run additional shows at 7pm on March 18 and 19. “We have been wanting to do Chicago for a long time, and we are so excited to finally be able to do it! Since it’s currently on Broadway, we are performing the Teen Edition of the show,” Ms. Tosonotti shared. Students can purchase tickets from cast members for $10 each throughout the week or at the door if there are any left.
Auditions took place at the beginning of December and practices began immediately after the directors posted the final cast list. The cast consists of students of all grade levels including freshman Maggie Conklin and senior John Valazza. “It was terrifying to wait to be called in to audition but it was so relieving when it was over,” said Conklin.
The cast and crew eagerly anticipate showing everyone what they have created over the past four months. “I think this cast definitely has amazing chemistry, there’s a lot of partner work, so there’s a lot of teamwork used to put this show on, and the whole cast is very supportive of one another and are always there to cheer on our cast mates,” stated Chris Palmiero, who will play Billy Flynn.
This musical contains some new material which the Drama program has never employed before, such as seamless scene changes by the cast. “One new exciting aspect that we have incorporated into the show is having the cast perform a lot of the scene changes instead of the crew. This allows for a more seamless transition from scene to scene as opposed to blacking out the stage and making the audience wait in between each scene for everything to change,” Ms. Tosonotti, one of two teachers directing the play stated.
The cast practiced almost every day, staying after school as late as five on most nights. “Each rehearsal is a whole new experience on leadership, choreography and directing,” explained Felicia.
Senior Brianna Salica will play one of five “merry murderesses” and the only student in the dance number without prior experience in dancing. “Something I had to overcome was picking up choreography fast, especially this year, because I’m in dances with majority dancers! It’s been hard, but I’ve really loved dancing in this year’s show especially,” Salica stated
After a successful fall comedy, senior Felica Padin earned another opportunity to student direct a production. “I was honored to be asked to return as student director. Having no past musical experience, it’s thrilling learning so much from Mrs. O’ Reilly, Ms. Tossonotti and our actors every single day,” Felicia explained.
This musical pushed the cast regarding their dancing and singing with over seven dance numbers and even a solo for senior Amanda Tropea, cast as Velma Kelly, who has never performed a solo on the big stage before. “Honestly, Velma is my favorite part I’ve ever played in a show. She feels like a dream role. On top of that, “I Can’t Do it Alone” which is my solo, is so fun to perform and allows me to show off my sense of humor,” Amanda explained. “Of course, I’m incredibly nervous to perform in front of anyone, but even more excited.”
Cast members cannot wait to share this production with their friends, family, and peers. Emily Stein, who plays Roxie Hart exclaimed, “Chicago is an extremely fun and exciting musical with new eye-catchers every scene. The cast has worked very hard for the past few months and it would be amazing for the rest of the student body to come see our performance!”
Posted on 3/14/22
Photos by Gabriella Master