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Chicago: Scandalous and Sparkling

Chicago made the long awaited debut after multiple months of work and rehearsals with a record breaking amount of cast members
Elijah Mayo
The group poses as the character Billy Flynn makes his entrance

Paso High Theater Company bombs audiences with their rendition of the classic musical Chicago singing, dancing, and acting into the scene like a celebrity, and all that jazz! With opening night on April 19, 2024, Chicago is different from other plays that the Theater Department has put on in the past 3-4 years. 

The original play was created in 1975, written by John Kander and Fred Ebb, and has been played over 10,000 different times. The play is still playing on Broadway to this day, making it the second longest running show in history behind The Phantom of the Opera. 

With darker tones mixed in with comedic absurdity of the corrupt Cook County Jail and desires for fame led by Roxie Hart portrayed by Alyssa Wesley (11) as a fame hungry murderer that wants nothing more than to dance, Chicago is not as wholesome as one would expect. Based on an original event that occurred in 1924, Beulah Annan and Belva Gaetner who had both murdered their husbands.

The two main characters Roxie Hart(Beulah) and Velma Kelly(Belva) played by Danika Nutile (12) as a more experienced murderer that was already in the dancing and jazz industry, were inspired by these semi-successful murders who fliped their lives around in the desire for fame.

Chicago possesses a large of over 40 characters, all of which have their own unique personalities. But a certain character with one of the biggest personalities is criminal defense attorney Billy Flynn played by Shane Mullinix(11) who uses abused women to gain fame and power by convincing the world they’re innocent. Mullinix’s role is complemented by a character with the complete opposite type of personality of Amos Hart played by Asher Moore(12) as a man who nobody notices. 

Asher’s role is a quiet and timid husband that seems to do almost anything for his wife, and eventually fades into the back of the stage by the end of the play. 

“Playing that kinda character is just like a reset. It’s a huge change from other characters I’ve done. A lot of the time I come up with little fidgets and stuff that I can do that I don’t actually do in real life. Just so I can give that character an extra touch which I really enjoyed doing for Billy,” said Mullinix who’s played in multiple acts such as Fairycakes.

These characters bounce from scene to scene, all interacting with each other in various different types of ways while maintaining a cast of over 40 actors of different experience levels. 

Shane Mullinix(11) and Alyssa Wesley(11) acting as Billy Flynn and Roxie Hart during the performance of We Both Reached For The Gun


Such scenes as “Me and My Baby” and the Courtroom Scene, which were stated to be the hardest scenes to practice and choreograph from Wesley.

The CourtRoom scene had 32 different little sound cues that go in between lines, which is insane for our stage manager and our like sound team to execute, but I’d say me and my baby were the hardest to program and the courtroom scene was the hardest to block and get down. But my favorite scene was We Both Reached For The Gun,” Wesley said.

“We Both Reached For The Gun”, another difficult scene performed by Wesley and Mullinix was one of the largest scenes in the entire showing. A multitude of reporters and over 20 people in one scene all having to memorize a dance and song revolving around the two actors, primarily inspired by the productions and movie. 

“You would not believe the amount of time that went into that number, the timing on the track so fast. Shane and I did our choreography on our own. We took inspiration from previous Broadway and tour like productions and, and the movie. So we kind of just mix that all together,” Wesley said.

With combinations of movie, broadway, and creative thoughts from the multitude of teams, Chicago is a new type of play for the Paso High Theater Company that brought new ideas to the forefront and took risks we haven’t seen yet. From scandalous dresses and sparkling makeup, Chicago took the school by storm and was a successful send-off for the school year.

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About the Contributor
Elijah Mayo
Elijah Mayo, Director in Photographer & Enviromental Editor

Elijah Mayo is a senior and the Environmental Editor, and Director in Photography and is in his first year of Journalism. He finds passion in writing, music, and art.

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