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‘Chicago’ continues smash run at Pagosa Springs Center for the Arts

Thingamajig Theatre Company continues its blockbuster run of the Kander and Ebb musical “Chicago,” 7 p.m. Wednesday through Friday and 2 p.m. Sunday at the Pagosa Springs Center for the Arts.

The musical version of a 1926 play about infamous dame Roxie Hart, who murders a faithless lover and convinces her hapless husband to take the rap. Convicted and sent to death row, Roxie and another “Merry Murderess” Velma Kelly, vie for the spotlight and the headlines, ultimately joining forces in search of the “American Dream”: Fame, fortune and acquittal. A cynical take on the American justice system and the cult of celebrity.

Thingamajig’s 2012 Summer Season includes a wide variety of local and regional talent for this year’s productions including Marcelina Chavira (Roxie Hart). She embraces the role completely and  her dancing is not to be missed. She is gorgeous, has a highly stylized singing voice, and her acting is terrific.

Supporting Chavira is Tim Moore who has appeared on the Thingamajig stage many times. Though he isn’t required to dance, his suave manner and acting abilities work very well in the role of Billy Flynn. A wonderful actress/dancer/singer Alyse Neubert plays Velma and is fantastic in the role. She had played the role previously in 2008 at Fort Lewis College.

The rest of the cast is first-rate. Billy Pinto does a stellar job as “Amos,” Roxie’s forlorn husband (“Mr. Cellophane”); Elizabeth Dunn is a cutup as the jury. Ammon Swofford is outstanding as “Mary Sunshine,” and what a voice. Rounding out the principals is Sara Swift, as “Matron Mama Morton.” She nearly steals the show with her number, “When you’re good to Mama.”

This is a fun show to start with if you have not yet seen a show in Thingamajig’s Breaks Black Box Theatre. The theater offers comfy seats and sturdy risers can be reconfigured into any one of three arrangements: Traverse (seats on two opposing sides of the stage), thrust (seats curved around the front and a little of the sides of the stage), and proscenium (seats only in front of the stage.)  For “Chicago,” the seats are arranged in the thrust configuration, so you can view either directly in front or a little off to either side of the stage area. 

This is a show for adults who like intimate, live theatre with experienced, professional singing and dancing. It offers a satisfying new perspective on the show for adults who loved the movie or loved seeing the big Broadway production. If you have never seen any version of “Chicago,” I bet you will recognize and enjoy “All That Jazz!”

Thingamajig Theatre Company’s “Chicago,” directed by Laura Moore and choreographed by Alyse Neubert, continues its run this week July 11, 12 and 13 at 7 p.m. and Sunday, July 15, at 15 p.m. Performances run through Aug. 12. The show runs two hours and 30 minutes and is appropriate for mature audiences.

Tickets are $20 in advance or $25 at the door  and can be secured by visiting www.pagosacenter.org or calling 731-SHOW.

The 2012 Summer Theatre Season is produced by the Thingamajig Theatre Company with sponsorship from Citizen’s Bank, Wild Spirit Designs and Earth Signs of Pagosa.

Thingamajig Theatre Company is a nonprofit organization and the resident theater company of the Pagosa Springs Center for the Arts located at 2313 Eagle Drive in Pagosa Springs.

For more information, or to be added to the mailing list, send an e-mail to info@pagosacenter.org.

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