The Roaring ’20s are back and taking over the auditorium at East Bakersfield High School starting Friday when Theatre East presents “Chicago.” The high school edition of this legendary musical, featuring the classic music of John Kander, lyrics by Fred Ebb and book by Ebb and Bob Fosse, is based on true events that occurred in Chicago in the 1920s.
“Chicago” follows Roxie Hart (played by Jenny Rejon), a woman destined for stardom, who let’s nothing get in her way, especially not a man. When she commits murder, she is sent to jail to await trial and meets the Merry Murderesses, women who have all been jailed for the murder of a man. The Murderesses are led by vaudeville star Velma Kelly (Allison Nelson), Roxie’s only competition, who is represented by Chicago’s best attorney, Billy Flynn (Kyle Sorenson).
From the first toe-tapping note to the last, “Chicago” is a nonstop adventure of beautiful young women in flapper dresses, shining young men and the razzle-dazzle of it all.
Working to bring this show to life has been an experience of a lifetime for the students at East Bakersfield High School. We have formed bonds that will definitely outlast our run.
Leslie Art, a sophomore and the actress playing infamous reporter Mary Sunshine, said, “I will never tire of the bright faces and the warm feelings that draw me back every time.”
Junior Nathan Armendariz, playing cad Fred Casely, added that “‘Chicago’ gives me a home where I am actually enjoying myself. It’s honestly the only thing that gets me to come to school in the first place.”
“I believe I speak for everyone when I say that ‘Chicago’ is more than just a show. It’s an opportunity for all of us to show what amazing things we are capable of,” said Jairo Rivera, another cast member.
As student director, I have come to love this amazing cast and I value their time, work ethic and creativity. Walking into rehearsal with them and our wonderful teachers, Mrs. Odlin and Ms. Downie, makes me forget about life’s stresses and negativity. There is no place like East. I have never felt more welcomed into a family or more loved than here.
Freshman Anna Longakit puts it best: “I feel so welcomed in Theatre East and it feels like a place where I belong and can be myself.”
All that is missing is you! Come see this story of murder, greed, stardom and jazz at 7 p.m. Friday, Saturday or March 5 or 6 or 2 p.m. March 7. Tickets are $10 and available at the East Bakersfield High School auditorium door at 2200 Quincy St.