Rave reviews and a full house: the cast and crew of Chicago, this year’s spring musical, definitely “had it coming.” Katie Morgan starred as Roxie Hart alongside Liza Marinokha as Velma Kelly, two Jazz Age female murderers in the vice-ridden city. JeongHo Ha played their slick defense attorney, while Big Kitty Xue and Yanni Giannakopoulos kept the crowd in stitches as prison matron “Mama” Morton and sob-story reporter Mary Sunshine, respectively. Malik Basnight rounded out the major cast as downtrodden Amos Hart, Roxie’s husband.
The musical opened with a rousing rendition of “All That Jazz,” starting the audience on a journey through a variety of vaudeville-style musical numbers. Enhanced with Fosse-style choreography designed by teacher Sheryl Hastalis, and accompanied by an orchestra led by Dean of Performing Arts Adam Judd and including some faculty and students, the entire cast rose to the challenge of the solo, duet, and ensemble pieces that are part of the canon of Broadway musicals, including “Mr. Cellophane,” “Razzle Dazzle,” and “Cell Block Tango.”
Director Gerard Doyle, Adam, and Sheryl all expressed their pleasure with the success with which the cast pulled off the three performances—and with the weeks of work that led up to the opening curtain. “I can honestly say Chicago was one of the best productions we have produced in my 11 years directing shows at Ross,” said Gerard. Adam added, “I was consistently impressed with how fully and often the cast and crew expressed their trust in each other.” This trust and commitment to perfecting performances was evident—Chicago was a smashing success!
The crew behind the scenes also contributed to a fantastic experience. Everything from lighting to set construction and sound design was artfully executed. The production team extended a special thanks to teacher Jon Mulhern for his work on set construction and to Ross alum Adin Doyle ’14 for putting in hours on sound design.
This year’s musical was one of grand proportions, and the time and talent put into Chicago was greatly appreciated by all that attended. Congratulations to the entire cast and crew for a job supremely well done!