“Give ‘em the old razzle dazzle,” sings Billy Flynn as he describes to his client Roxie Hart how to bamboozle a jury when on trial in the Broadway musical “Chicago.”
For months now, the Thingamajig Theatre Company has been running both “Chicago” and “You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown” as part of ITS 2012 repertory summer season.
Summer is now coming to an end and so are both shows. The final showing of “Charlie Brown” took place on Sunday, Aug. 5, and the cast has taken down the set for the last time and is now getting ready to excite audiences for the last weekend of “Chicago.” With a much larger cast, theatregoers should be ready to get blown away by the iconic music, sexy costumes and dazzling choreography “Chicago” offers.
The musical takes place in the 1920s in the city of its name. It follows the story of Roxie Hart, who is on trial for the murder her boyfriend, Fred Casely. Awaiting her trial, she encounters corrupt characters such as Billy Flynn, her sleazy lawyer who claims to only care about love as his motive for helping poor damsels in distress (is it?), Matron Mama Morton, the women who oversees the Cook County Jail and sets out to squeeze as much money from her “guests.”
As her trial date approaches, Billy reinvents Roxie’s persona into a celebrity, gaining fame for her in order to seek out sympathy. The press and citizens of Chicago eat up everything she has to say, believing all the lies that the two of them create to make her look like the victim in the whole situation. With plenty of song and dance to keep the audience enthralled, it’s easy to get swept up in the story and the exhibition that “Chicago” offers.
One of the things that makes this play so entertaining is the incredibly diverse and talented cast.
Marcelina Chavira, starring as Roxie Hart, definitely brings her own brand of flare to the show. With a cutesy high-pitched voice and a mesmerizing sense of style, she adds an air of attitude that makes her character both lovable and despicable.
“Thingamajig did a wonderful job making it their own,” says Marcelina. “While it was very much like the revival, the show still has a different voice which is so interesting to watch and be a part of. It’s been a lot of fun.”
Alongside her, as the male lead Billy Flynn, is Thingamajig Artistic Director Tim Moore. His vocal range is impressive and his ability to portray his character leaves the audience wanting more every time. The character is a cocky, self-indulgent individual who’s only interested in making as MUCH money as he can while making a name for himself.
Playing Velma Kelly is Fort Lewis graduate Alyse Neubert. Velma is another person in this play who’s looking out for her own best interest, claiming in one of her first scenes that she doesn’t get or give any advice, and is willing to work with others only when she’s backed into a corner and is desperate. What is truly impressive is not just the effort Neubert put toward building up the character of Velma, but the work she’s put in for the entire season. For months now, she’s been juggling two characters, Velma and Snoopy, in “Chicago” and “You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown,” and she’s the choreographer for both. Her hard work and dedication as the choreographer is nothing short of impressive, as cast members excite and charm the audience with each dance number.
Thingamajig Theatre Company’s “Chicago,” directed by Laura Moore and choreographed by Alyse Neubert, concludes its run this week, Aug. 9-12, at 7 p.m. and Sunday at 2 p.m. 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.