Chattanooga Now UTC Theatre wraps up season with 'Chicago'

Chattanooga Now UTC Theatre wraps up season with 'Chicago'

April 11th, 2018 by Staff Report in Chattanooga Now - Art

If you go

› What: “Chicago”

› Where: Dorothy Hackett Ward Theatre, UTC Fine Arts Center, 752 Vine St.

› When: 7:30 p.m. Tuesday-Saturday, April 17-21; 2 p.m. Saturday, April 21

› Admission: $15, $12 for senior adults and students with valid ID

› For more information: 423-425-4269

Cast members of "Chicago" include, from left, Kimberly Rye as Velma Kelly, Nick Sterling as Fred Casely and Rachel Shannon as Roxie Hart. (Photo by Bailey Braden)

Cast members of "Chicago" include, from left, Kimberly...

Photo by Contributed Photo /Times Free Press.

UTC Theatre Company wraps up its season with some Roaring '20s razzle dazzle when it presents "Chicago," a musical about crime, greed, adultery and how to get away with murder.

The production will premiere on Tuesday, April 17, continuing through Saturday, April 21, in the Dorothy Hackett Ward Theatre of the UTC Fine Arts Center.

Set in 1920s Chicago, the musical follows glamorous murderesses Velma Kelly and Roxie Hart as they make headlines for their sinister crimes. "Chicago" was written by Fred Ebb and John Kander, based on the play by Maurine Dallas Watkins, with script adaptation by David Thompson.

"As dark and cynical as some of the themes of this show are, it's amazingly seductive and fun," says director Steve Ray.

"The music alone just gets stuck in your head. At random times throughout the day, I find myself singing, 'When you're in trouble, go into your dance they'll let you get away with murder.' The show takes a steamy mixture of crime, celebrity, greed and lies and makes us laugh at how these things can lead to fame. In a twisted way, it's a celebration of the dark side of the American spirit."

"Chicago" has the largest cast and creative team of the theater's season behind it.

"We have a perfect cast for this show," says Ray. "It's a dance-heavy show, and even though most of our students do not have a lot of dance training, they are really rising to the challenge. Our choreographers have created some beautiful and exciting numbers."

"Chicago" is known for show-stopping songs such as "Cell Block Tango," "All That Jazz" and "We Both Reached for the Gun."

"Our designers have outdone themselves, re-creating the razzle dazzle of Vaudeville on the Ward stage. Everything shimmers and shines," says Ray.

The creative team includes Adam Miecielica, set design; Kimberly Davis, costume design; Kristin Nalley and Andrew Parker, choreographers; Alex Miller-Long, lighting; and John Burgess, technical direction.

The production stars Rachel Shannon as Roxie Hart and Kimberly Rye as Velma Kelly. The cast includes Nick Sterling, Jesse Wilyat, Katey Dailey, Mark Elich, Mikki White, Hailey White, Meg Phinney, Ashley Tisdale, MaKenna Amundson, Claire Johnson, Kolin Lawler, Zack Shreeve, Carmin Pebley, Bethany Peyton, Linsey Watkins, Jacob Madden, Tate Runyon, Jonathan Stegmann and Cooper Tidwell.

The cast will be accompanied by a six-piece ensemble directed by Tim Hinck. In addition to Hinck on piano, the musicians include Dan Hansen, trumpet; Laura Sage, violin; Gordon Inman, clarinet; Brian Poteet, trombone; and Matt Broom, percussion.

Audiences should be advised that "Chicago" contains violent themes and adult content.

Tickets can be purchased at the UTC Fine Arts Center box office, by phone at 423-425-4269, or online at www.utc.edu/theatre.