Photo by Mr. Blair
The 1920s Jazz Age was a crowning era for vaudeville acts, flapper girls, alcohol consumption, and of course, murder. The 1975 hit musical Chicago follows Roxie Hart through her experience on Cook County Jail’s death row, and more important to Roxie, her dreams of getting her own vaudeville act. Eventually, through the help of her nemesis Velma Kelly and sleazy lawyer Billy Flynn, Roxie and Velma walk free and finally get their act.
Chicago is known for its iconic choreography and vaudeville-inspired structure, but Wakefield High School’s production stood out from the rest with its vocally talented actors, precise dance numbers, and strong sense of character from the main cast.
Samantha Rios (Roxie Hart) stole the show with her powerhouse vocals and dazzling stage presence. She brought commitment and talent to every aspect of the role, from her strong dancing and singing talent to her great comedic timing.
Comedy was a strength in Wakefield’s production, as demonstrated by the hilarious Xavier Molina as Billy Flynn, who brought his own great qualities to the iconic character, and Gidget Shirley (Mary Sunshine), whose hilarious falsetto fit in perfectly with the playful style of the show.
Other standout moments came from Jason McPhee (Fred Casely) backflipping across the stage during the courtroom scene and cell block tango dancer Kayla Fluitt opening the show with her powerful silhouette.
The various ensembles in the show were particularly impressive for their grasp on challenging dance moves, impeccably timed blocking, and use of complicated sets and props. In “We Both Reached for the Gun,” the reporter ensemble stood out for handling ventriloquist-inspired choreography with talent and ease. The use of props, from canes to hats and other accessories, also matched the show’s unique style and served to enhance the performance.
Wakefield’s Chicago was a must-see show for the cast and crew’s ability to deliver a fresh take on an iconic musical.