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CHICAGO

Based on the play Chicago by MARUINE DALLAS WATKINS 
Book by FRED EBB and BOB FOSSE
Music by JOHN KANDER
Lyrics by FRED EBB
New York run: 46th Street Theatre, June 3, 1975

Plot Synopsis

It is 1924 in the States. A time of razzamatazz and the Black Bottom, of speakeasies and gunmen, pimps and whores. In a house in downtown Chicago, Mrs. Beulah Annan, a pretty twenty year old married to Al Annan, a garage mechanic, shoots her lover Harry Kolstadt in the back. While he dies in front of her, she plays "Hula Lou", a popular foxtrot, on her victrola and drinks steadily. She then phones her husband to tell him she killed to protect her honour. By the time the police arrive, she is drunk and her statement is taken at this time. 

Overnight in jail, she struck up a friendship with Mrs. Belva Gaertner, accused of shooting her lover while he sat waiting in her car. On April 6th, the two girls posed for photographers. Among the hacks was a young Chicago reporter, Maurine Dallas Watkins, a woman who was to help change the story from a grubby little killing to a source of fascination to this day. 

Everyone knew Beulah Annan had killed Harry Kolstadt. She had confessed as much to the police, even though she was drunk, but she was determined to turn the trial into a circus. Her picture appeared splashed across the nation's papers. Flowers, letters, and even offers of marriage poured in. Six days after the murder she announced she was "pregnant". Under Illinois law, she couldn't hand in this condition. The prosecution tried for a delay. Her defence, the brilliant W. W. O'Brien, refused, and so this young expectant "mother" went for trial.

From the start, the trial was different with Beulah seeming to treat the whole thing as a performance with makeup and costumes to match. The jury was carefully picked - all male, all young, and all good looking... four were even bachelors. "There had been a gun on the bed." Harry and she had reached for it together and it had just "gone off". The prosecutor begged the jury not to believe her, not to let her off just because she was pretty. To no avail. Fifty-three days after the murder and after only two hours of deliberation the jury returned. Not Guilty.

That afternoon she walked out free with her husband on her arm. Of the "baby" there was no further mention.

The following month, June 6th, Belva Gaertner was also found not guilty. Two months after the trial, Beulah divorced her husband and married a young publicist. Five months later, she divorced him. In 1928, she died in a sanitorium under an assumed name.

Maurine Dallas Watkins dutifully reported the events and made clear the farce that Beulah made of the trial, but her interest didn't stop there. She entered Yale on a course of Play Writing and shortly after appeared in New York with a script. On December 30th, 1926 her play "Chicago" opened to rave reviews and ran for 172 performances. In December, a silent movie was made. In 1942, 20th Century Fox released "Roxie Hart" starring Ginger Rogers.

Cast of Characters (ORIGINAL BROADWAY CAST)

Roxie Hart Gwen Verdon
Billy Flynn Jerry Orbach
Velma Kelly Chita Rivera

Songs from the Show - Act One

All That Jazz Velma and Company
Funny Honey Roxie
Cell Block Tango Velma, Liz, Annie, June, Hunyak, Mona
When You're Good to Mama Matron
All I Care About Billy and Girls
A Little Bit of Good Mary Sunshine
We Both Reached for the Gun Billy, Roxie, Mary Sunshine and Company
Roxie Roxie and her Boys
I Can't Do It Alone Velma and her Sister
My Own Best Friend Roxie and Velma 

Songs from the Show - Act Two

I Know a Girl Velma
Me and my Baby Roxie and Boys
Mister Cellophane Amos
When Velma Takes the Stand Velma and Boys
Razzle Dazzle Billy and Company
Class Velma and Matron
Nowadays Roxie and Velma
Finale The Company

 

1988-1989 Production

Presented March 10-18, 1989 at the High School of Commerce Auditorium, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada 

Production Team

Production Coordinator Malvary J. Cole
Director Richard Elichuk
Assistant to the Director Faye Lavell
Musical Director Drummond Hudson
Assistant to the Musical Director Marlene Field
Accompanists Lorna Rice
Choreographer Debbie Miller-Smith
Dance Assistants Nancy Egan, Craig Rowe
Set Designer and Scenic Artist Robbie Lynn Judd
Costume Designer Judith Froome
Lighting Designer Gerry Austin
Properties Mistress Pam Reynolds
Sound Technician Bill Butterworth
Stage Manager Gerry Reynolds
Assistant Stage Manager Tom Mordasewicz
Master Carpenter Tom Mordasewicz
Workshop Chairman Tom Shields
Make-up Artist Barbara Seeton
Hairdresser Walter Young
Assistant to Miss Cole Billi Langtry

Cast

The Narrator Mark Morton
Velma Kelly Barbara Seabright-Moore
Fred Casely Darin G. Hill
Roxie Hart Maureen Quinn McGovern
Amos Hart Jim Robertson
Sergeant Fogarty Barry Daley
Liz Cindy Harrison
Annie Val Keenleyside
June Carole Billingham
Hunyak Nancy Egan
Mona Diane Coulterman
Matron "Mama" Morton Sheila Shields
Billy Flynn Alvin Baldwin
Mary Sunshine Meg
Go-to-Hell-Kitty Stephanie Coward
Harry Craig Rowe
Aaron Eugene Oscapella
Court clerk Kevin Kelly
Martin Harrison Gary King
The Boys Wayne Nolan, Brad Burgess, Michael Gareau
The Girls Melanie Hudson, Debbie Jones

Orchestra

Violin Irving Thompson
Reeds John Hilchie, Bob Picheacute, Michael Scorah
Piano Lorna Rice
Trumpets Sid Holmes, Michel Renault
Trombone Marlene Field
Tuba/Bass Clive Gilbert
Percussion Art Beers
Guitar/Bamjo Neil Bateman