When Steinbrenner’s theater program opened for the first night of “Chicago,” family members, friends, and student body members flooded into the packed auditorium. Steinbrenner’s rendition of “Chicago” proved to be a knockout. The cast, complete with seasoned senior actors and fresh faces alike, dazzled the audience with remarkable dancing, acting, and singing.
The production’s two female leads, Velma Kelley and Roxie Hart, portrayed by seniors Taylor Tarver and Avery Hall, were extravagant. Both actresses have been performing in theatre for years, and their preparation really showed in this performance. The roles of Velma and Roxie are complex and quite a challenge, especially for high school students, but Tarver and Hall made it look easy.
The two male leads, Billy Flynn and Amos Hart, were portrayed by sophomore Jaden Waz and junior Grant Sparr. Waz and Sparr are no strangers to the stage, but they both have taken on lead roles in “Chicago,” something they are both still new to. Waz’s performance as the egocentric Billy, and Sparr’s performance as the contrastingly sympathetic character Amos, complemented each other perfectly. Together, they added a powerful element to the show that left the audience conflicted on who exactly to side with.
The leads were eye catching, but the show would not be the same without the wonderfully talented ensemble. Made up of more than twenty actors, the ensemble created a unity within the dance numbers and songs, that otherwise the show would lack. They not only helped to support the leads, but also often stole the show with their comedic relief and extravagant personalities.
The show was filled with lots of complicated and show-stopping choreography. The program even brought in a choreographer to help the cast with their dance numbers to make sure that they were impeccable.
“Our choreographer, Nick, was super helpful and amazing. He was so talented, and I want to work with him again, it was amazing to work with a choreographer.” said Taylor Tarver.
The show also included an impressive live orchestra, made up of Steinbrenner’s own band and orchestra students, led by Jason Allgair and Corey Poole. This added a powerful factor to already show-stopping songs, and when Velma or Billy asked for their exit music, the orchestra would provide a fitting tune for the exiting leads.
“The live band enhanced everything. They are so talented, and it is crazy that they are students, and I feel like they gave us energy, and we fed off each other.” said Tarver.
Steinbrenner’s rendition of “Chicago” was also noticed by a local Broadway network, and has been nominated for awards for outstanding direction, choreography, and actors. Awards are sure to come for the talented cast and crew.
Steinbrenner’s adaptation of “Chicago” was a whirlwind of talent and razzle dazzle, and more whimsical productions are certainly in the theatre program’s future.
Grace Beilman // Staff Writer
Mia Higinbotham // Staff Writer