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Theater department production of ‘Chicago’ is sexy, scandalous and full of talent

The+cast+of+%22Chicago%22+performs+%22Cell+Block+Tango%22+on+the+opening+night+of+the+theater+department%27s+new+musical+production+on+Nov.+17.+
The cast of

The cast of "Chicago" performs "Cell Block Tango" on the opening night of the theater department's new musical production on Nov. 17.

Kainoa Nunez

Kainoa Nunez

The cast of "Chicago" performs "Cell Block Tango" on the opening night of the theater department's new musical production on Nov. 17.

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The theater department presented the first showing of their fall production of Broadway classic, John Kander’s “Chicago” on Nov. 17.

It remains one of the best Broadway shows and still bubbles with the joy of performing and glitters with all that jazz and razzle dazzle that sparks the audience’s’ attention.

“Chicago” is the second-longest-running show of all time according to Broadway and has over 8,000 performances.

It’s an American musical full of crime, comedy and drama that explores the themes of celebrity, scandal and corruption in the cold hearted city of Chicago, Illinois during the 1920s jazz age. It follows Roxie Hart and Velma Kelly, two murderesses and would-be superstars, and their quest for fame, glory and acquittal.

Director and Theater Department Chair Cheri Fortin, showcased the Fosse dance style and provided a thrilling reminder to those who’ve seen it before just how smart, sexy and exciting this brand of choreography was and still is today.

The story starts off with a brittle woman, Roxie Hart, played by Charlie Watkins, who does admirable job on being one of the headliners of this play. Hart is innocent, desperate, and selfish, yet not very bright and never thinks about the consequences of her actions before she says or does anything, a character which Watkins does a good job in portraying.

She is married to a naive man named Amos who is performed by Jeric Gutierrez. Gutierrez plays Amos as a character that is portrayed as a fool at his best and a wimp at his worst and has the audience sympathizing with him due to his well-done performance as the only honest person in this entire play.

Alysia Sambuca plays Velma Kelly, Hart’s cellblock mate and fellow murderess, in a miraculous performance showcasing the attention-seeking, envious character with ease and with singing that really made her stand out. The two femme fatales share a lawyer, Billy Flynn, corrupt but still operating on the official sanctioned side of the law, played Andy Hyun.

Hyun’s suave portrayal of Flynn shows him as a sexy, persuasive, manipulative, masculine, educated lawyer who can persuade anyone to do anything and will take any case as long as it is sure to put money in his pocket. It’s a strong character that needs a strong actor that sings and dance well, and Hyun fits the bill.

The musical numbers featured include hits such as; “And All That Jazz,” “Cell Block Tango,” “A Little Bit of Good,” “We Both Reach for the Gun, Roxie,” “Mister Cellophane,” and “Razzle Dazzle.”

The songs, representing what “Chicago” was all about, were performed superbly well by the production’s ensemble, mesmerizing the audience with their striking choreography and seasoned vocals.

“We Both Reached for the Gun”, in which Roxie practices her defense for the court, was especially well-choreographed and was one that the audience found humorous.  

Another song that got the audience laughing and appreciating the cast’s talent, was “A Little Bit of Good,” full of long, hard-to-hit notes sung by Miss Mary Sunshine and played by L. Fuentes. Fuentes did a great job on performing a sensationalist reporter and the contrast of him dressed as the dainty character, hitting high notes with elegance earned him plenty of laughs and a standing ovation.

This performance focused on the theatrical to illustrate a vaudevillian feel. There is some rather serious forms of pastiche that reflect the 1920s, and are performed in a satirical manner. Due to historical events occurring during that time, the idea of “Chicago” is that it’s all for show and business.

The play is an ongoing event that will run till Dec. 9. Tickets are on sale online at https://www.crc.losrios.edu/culture/theatre/chigago/node/9164.

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Theater department production of ‘Chicago’ is sexy, scandalous and full of talent