Chicago is a story of murder, greed, corruption, violence, exploitation, adultery, and treachery-all those things we hold near and dear to our heart. It is jurisprudence-as-show-business and trial-by-publicity. It is a tale of the sensational murderess Velma Kelly, the reigning queen of the Cook County jail, and Roxie Hart, the newest of the merry murderesses, who, of course, haven't really committed any crime (their men had it coming).
Velma won't give Roxie the time of day, so she turns to the jailhouse matron for advice. For a small bribe, the matron tips Roxie to Billy Flynn, the legal Mr. Fix-it, who knows everything about women, juries, and how to weave sympathy into the press conferences he holds for his clients. As her mouthpiece (using her as a ventriloquist's dummy), Billy pulls the strings that make Roxie the new queen of the self-defense killers.
Since no woman has been hanged in Cook County in 47 years, it seems only a short time until she can parlay all the publicity into vaudeville stardom. Roxie has bumped Velma off the front pages, stolen her lawyer, even her court date. Now, Velma tries to persuade Roxie to do a sister act.
Remembering her treatment earlier, Roxie returns the cold shoulder. Roxie is a star, a single, until Go-to-Hell Kitty, the most sensuous murderess yet, comes on the scene. Roxie, realizing she could quickly lose all she has gained, faints and announces that she is going to have a baby. Refusing to go along with the courthouse charade, an innocent girl is found guilty and hanged-breaking the 47 year tradition. Velma and Roxie both panic and plead with Billy to get their cases over with in a hurry.
They are found innocent, of course, but at the moment of Roxie's triumph another woman shoots up the courthouse and steals all the headlines. Roxie and Velma shrug as if to say That's show biz and decide to salvage as much publicity as they can by doing the sister act-and all that jazz!
Damn Yankees is about a fanatic, middle-aged, Washington Senators' fan who keeps glued to his T.V. set during the baseball season. The distraught real estate agent rants against the Yankees who are clobbering the league's clubs, including his beloved Senators. In an impulsive oath, he says he would sell his soul if he could just stop those Yankees. A happily cynical Devil appears and the fan is transformed into something the Senators need: a young, phenomenal, long-ball hitter.
Joe Boyd becomes Joe Hardy, the sensation of the leagues, leading his team as they rise in the league standings. This newcomer with his success is the target for speculation by the press. As a safety precaution to keep Joe in line and to cure his unexpected loneliness for his wife, the Devil introduces Joe to Lola, his prize powerful weapon. However, when the Devil is ready for Joe to live up to his end of the bargain, Joe outwits him in the final moments of the big game.
Rodgers and Hammerstein’s The King and I is a moving, radiant story of East meets West. It is the early 1860s when newly widowed Anna Leonowens and her son, Louis, set sail from their native England for Bangkok, Siam (now Thailand). Anna, still grieving, has set her sights on a new adventure and taken a position as the schoolteacher for the royal offspring of the King of Siam.
The King is determined to usher Siam into the modern world, and he thinks Western education can be a part of that – yet, Anna is horrified at first by many of the traditions that he holds dear. Anna and the King struggle to find common ground. The King is largely considered to be a barbarian by rulers of the West, and he takes Anna on as an advisor, asking her to help change his image – if not his actual practice. With both keeping a firm grip on their respective traditions and values, Anna and the King teach each other about understanding, respect, and love that can transcend the greatest of differences. Beneath the fraught, fiercely opinionated, conflict-ridden surface of Anna and the King’s relationship lies one of the most unique love stories in the musical theatre canon.
Artistic Directors: J.A. Wallace and Sheila Shields
The story is set in New York, Christmastime, 1933. Annie was left on the steps of the Municipal Orphanage with half a silver locket around her neck and a note saying her parents would someday return for her. She decides to run away from the mean-tempered Miss Hannigan, who runs the Orphanage, and find her parents. Along the way she befriends a stray dog whom she calls Sandy. But their friendship is short-lived; Annie is found by the police and returned to face Miss Hannigan's wrath.
She is saved by the arrival of Miss Grace Farrell, who has been sent to the Orphanage by billionaire industrialist Oliver Warbucks to select an orphan to spend Christmas with him. Grace chooses Annie. Warbucks is so taken with Annie he decides to adopt her, but before he can bring the subject up with her, she tells him the story of her locket and that she is desperate to find her parents. Warbucks offers $50,000 to anyone who can prove they are Annie's parents. Miss Hannigan, assisted by her crooked brother, Rooster, and his girlfriend, Lily, hatches a plot to get the reward money. None of the hundreds of couples that turn up know the secret of the locket except one - "Mr. and Mrs. Mudge"...
Fiddler on the Roof, composed by Jerry Bock, with lyrics by Sheldon Harnick and book by Joseph Stein, is set in Tsarist Russia in 1905 and is very closely based on the books Tevye and his Daughters and Tevye the Dairyman by Jewish author Sholem Aleichem. The story focuses on Tevye, the father of five daughters, and his attempts to maintain his family and Jewish religious traditions while outside influences encroach upon their lives. He tries hard to cope both with the strong-willed actions of his three older daughters - each one's choice of husband moving farther away from the customs of their faith - and with the edict of the Tsar that will eventually evict his family and all the Jews from their little village of Anatevka.
Welcome to the Greatest Show on Earth, the world of Phineas Taylor Barnum, full of spectacle and humbug. Sometimes with her support, and sometimes against her objections, P.T. Barnum works with his wife Chairy to create unbelievable attractions in a variety of ways, from the American Museum in New York City to a national tour featuring Jenny Lind, the Swedish Nightingale.
Along the way, Barnum meets Joice Heth (the oldest woman alive) and Tom Thumb (the smallest man in the world). He dabbles in politics and begins a lecture tour, culminating in his founding of the Greatest Show on Earth with partner James Bailey.
Director: Nancy Turner
Music Director: Gary Morton
Choreographer: Susie Bregg
The workers at Mr. Hasler's Sleep-Tite pajama factory are pushing for a 7 1/2-cent raise. The new superintendent, Sid Sorokin, is trying to get the plant into peak production. In the process he falls in love with Babe Williams, a member of the union's grievance committee. Vernon Hines, the plant's jealous time-study man, is similarly inclined towards Gladys, Mr. Hasler's secretary. The romance between Babe and Sid has built concurrently with union ferment over wage demands. Events surrounding the company picnic give evidence wedding bells are in the air. But the union has decided on a slowdown. When Sid manages to get things speeded up, Babe short circuits the machines in her department. It's a blatant act that forces Sid to fire her. In an attempt to reconcile their differences and head off a strike, Sid takes Gladys out and gets her drunk in order to get the key to Mr. Hasler's private files. Meanwhile a strike vote is affirmed at a union meeting. Babe sees Sid out with Gladys and is even more inflamed. Sid's research pays off. He calls the union delegation to his office and asks them to hold off the union rally until they hear from him. Babe sees that he is trying to get to the bottom of things and agrees to cancel a previous date in order to meet Sid after the rally. Sid has found that Hasler had added the 7 1/2-cent raise to costs six months before. When he confronts Hasler, he agrees to a settlement. Everyone is reunited and Hasler throws an employeerelations party where the latest styles of pajamas are modeled.
Director: Eoin McManus
Musical Director: Drummond Hudson
Choreographer: Bob Riddell
Guys and Dolls has been called the quintessential Broadway musical. It sets wonderful Loesser music to Damon Runyonland, the Broadway of the 1940's inhabited by gamblers, nightclub performers, and Salvation Army members trying to cure the sins of the Times Square population. The rich plot revolves around a bet made by gambler Sky Masterson with Nathan Detroit, organizer of a floating crap game.
Sky bets Nathan that he can woo any doll Nathan chooses and take her to a romantic Havana getaway. Nathan chooses none other than straight laced Sarah Brown of the Salvation Army.
The status of the bet, the crap game, and the end of the 14-year engagement of Nathan and his girl, Adelaide, result in confusion amidst great song and dance.