AUBURN —  “All That Jazz” and a whole lot of “Razzle Dazzle” is coming to Community Little Theatre on Friday when a long-awaited production of “Chicago” takes to the stage.

Director Richard Martin said “Chicago” is probably CLT’s most requested show. It features a delightful assortment of high-energy musical numbers. The music is by John Kander with lyrics by Fred Ebb.

Set in Prohibition-era Chicago, the highly-acclaimed musical is a satire about “celebrity criminals” and corruption in the administration of justice.

Martin said he has “a really dynamic ensemble” for CLT’s “Chicago.” He is especially pleased that his assistant director and choreographer, Jake Boyce, has assembled a corps of dancers who will bring Bob Fosse’s distinctive style to the dance numbers, particularly the show’s signature song and opening number, “All That Jazz.”

“It’s smart and sexy,” Martin said, adding that it “overflows with satire” driven by music, movement and razor-sharp dialogue. The plot is intensely cynical, yet it’s “overlaid with all this fun,” he said.

Colleen Katana plays Roxie Hart and Melissa Stevens plays Velma Kelly. They have the lead roles of the “merry murderesses,” whose defense relies on a flimsy diversion of phony celebrity.

Daniel Hollander plays Billy Flynn, their ethically challenged lawyer. Roxie’s hapless husband, Amos, is played by Cody Watson.

Flynn’s boundless cynicism is showcased in the song “All I Care About.” He also has a clever number called “We Both Reached for the Gun,” in which he performs some puppet-like manipulation with Roxie.

Supporting roles include Jennine Cannizzo as Cook County Jail matron “Mama” Morton. She performs “When You’re Good to Mama,” a show-stopping solo.

“Cell Block Tango” is another featured number with Velma and five other female prisoners.

Highlights of the second act revolve around Flynn’s courtroom shenanigans.

“Razzle Dazzle” is an extraordinary vaudevillian routine with Flynn telling Roxie that her trial “is all a circus, kid.” He proclaims it’s “a three-ring circus” and all he has to do is “give ’em the old hocus pocus.”

Martin said the role of Roxie’s painfully shy husband, Amos, who’s all but lost in the publicity-driven trial, provides the show’s single moral compass. As Amos, Wilson sings the plaintive “Mr. Cellophane.”

Jason Pelletier appears in a gender-bending role as “sob sister” reporter Mary Sunshine.

Dancers, singers and other characters are played by Eliza Tilbor, Olivia Mayo, Adelyn Bell, Lacey Moyse, Danielle Eaton, Robyn Nast, Cameron Ramich, Christopher Hodgkin, Kenneth Mansur and Keith Nadeau.

Paul G. Caron is music director and his orchestra will be seen continuously on stage, in keeping with an original production custom.

Boyce joins Community Little Theatre as a professionally trained choreographer. He is a graduate of Dean College in Franklin, Massachusetts. He appeared in CLT’s production of “Hairspray,” and he was co-choreographer for that show with Audrey Martin in 2014.

The off-stage crew for “Chicago” includes Karen Mayo, producer and costumes; Brandon Chaloux, stage manager; Sarah Wing, assistant stage manager; Kat Carney and Nicole Chase, props; Jessica Henson, prompter; Lynn O’Donnell, décor; Richard Martin, light designer; Zachary Gagne, light operator; Tom Anderson, sound; Ashley Gallagher, stage crew; MacKenzie Richard, production assistant; Danielle Eaton and Roger Philippon, publicity.

“Chicago” debuted on Broadway in 1975. It set numerous records and was revived in 1996 with a run that gave it the record as the longest-running musical revival and the longest-running American musical in Broadway history. It is the second longest-running show in Broadway history, behind “The Phantom of the Opera.”

The 2002 film production of “Chicago” won the Academy Award for Best Picture. It starred Catherine Zeta-Jones, Renée Zellweger and Richard Gere.

Performances of “Chicago” are at 7:30 p.m. Nov. 4, 5, 10, 11 and 12, and 2 p.m. Nov. 6 and 13. For tickets, call the CLT box office at 207-783-0958 or go online to www.laclt.com.

The Great Falls Performing Arts Center is at 30 Academy St.


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