‘Chicago’ coming to Waco Civic Theatre

The play “Chicago” has been adapted several times, including the 2002 film that won the award for Best Picture at the Academy Awards. Courtesy Photo
The play “Chicago” has been adapted several times, including the 2002 film that won the award for Best Picture at the Academy Awards.
Courtesy Photo

By Jamie Lim

Get ready to be razzle dazzled. In May, The Waco Civic Theatre will be showing the hit Broadway musical “Chicago,” directed by Russell Williams.

Williams has a theater arts degree and has directed many musicals, including “Children of Eden,” “Man of La Mancha” and “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat.”

Even with experience, Russell said “Chicago” will be a challenge for the Waco Civic Theatre.

“We’re known for doing a lot of older, conservative shows,” Williams said.“‘Chicago’ is more of an adult type show.”

Before the show can go on, the Waco Civic Theatre is looking for actors who want to paint the town — and all that jazz. They want people who sing, dance and act.

Grapevine junior Kelsey Martin, a theater performance major, is already considering auditioning for “Chicago.”

“Definitely,” Martin said. “Obviously any theater major would rather be on stage than anything else. But our second-favorite thing is seeing the shows to partake in other people’s theatrical experiences.”

Auditions will be held from 6 to 9 p.m. on March 4 and from 7 to 10 p.m. on March 5. Auditions are scheduled at 10-minute intervals. According to wacocivictheatre.org, to secure a spot, call the theater box office at 254-776-1591.

Those interested in auditioning will need to memorize 30 bars of a song. The song should also be within the same genre as “Chicago.”

They will also need to bring comfortable dancing shoes for the dance portion of the audition. There will be no monologue the during audition because “Chicago” does not have many speaking parts.

“It’s more of singing and movement that I’m concern about,” Williams said. “There’s a lot of really beautiful music and a lot of dance.”

“Chicago” is a six-time Tony Award winning musical. It’s set in 1920s Chicago during the Prohibition era.

In the musical, many factors lead to a character’s downfall: Greed, jazz, liquor, sex, murder and cheating — just to name a few.

“Many people have issues with ‘Chicago’ because of its provocative characters and scenes. I certainly agree with that,” Martin said. “But I love the interesting plot twists and the unique melodies of the songs.”

“Chicago” focuses on the corrupt criminal justice system. There are two leading women in the musical, Roxie Hart and Velma Kelly. They find themselves fighting to stay alive on Murderess Row in Cook County Jail, and to stay in the celebrity spotlight.

“There are a lot of other women of course imprisoned who have killed their husbands also, so there’s side storylines,” Williams said.

“It’s a prison story of women and their relationships with each other and with their husbands that they’ve killed.”

In 2002, the musical became a successful film, winning six Academy Awards, including Best Picture.

If cold gin, hot piano playing, noisy halls with nightly brawls and all that jazz seem intriguing, stop by the Waco Civic Theatre box office to purchase tickets. The box office is open Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Showings for “Chicago” will be May 4-6, 10-13 and 17-20.