Drama Department to present CHICAGO

Holy Redeemer has a very long and successful string of amazing productions. From the Charles Dickens’ classics A Christmas Carol and Oliver Twist, to the action packed adventures of The Lion, the Witch, the Witch and the Wardrobe and Robin Hood, to the musicals of The Lion King and Grease, HRH shows never cease to amaze their audiences. And this year they will be performing yet another musical: Chicago: High School Edition.

“When it comes down to choosing a production, we look at a variety of factors” says Drama Teacher Peter Taylor. “We look at the group of actors we have, their specialities in terms of singing and acting, and doing something we’ve never done before. Chicago seemed to check all the boxes.”

Chicago: High School Edition is a shortened and more age appropriate version of the 1975 Broadway hit and the 2002 motion picture that won the Oscar for Best Picture. It tells the story of Roxie Hart (double cast as Katie Blue and Morgan Steffler), who is put on trial for the murder of her ex-boyfriend, Fred (Ethan Toner). Hart dreams of a more glamourous life and is brought into the spotlight through the sensational journalism of the 1920’s. Other characters also appear to help Hart, but only look out for themselves, such as the diva Velma Kelly (double cast as Jayna Fedorak and Ava Simmons), the greedy lawyer Billy Flynn (Thomas Pennings), and the money hungry Matron Mama Morton (Carissa Simmons).

“This is going to be so much fun to play,” says grade 12 student Ava Simmons. “This is my last show and I get to act, sing and dance. And I love all three things.”

The cast is made up of 48 grade 7 to 12 students who spent four days auditioning in a variety of ways such as acting, singing, and improvised group work. Now, this dedicated cast and crew will spend the next two and half months preparing this very complicated production.

“This show is very demanding,” says Taylor who is relieved that he will once again be assisted by Musical Director Christine Chase and Dance Choreographer Amy Wesolowsky. “Both these ladies are extremely talented and share an amazing vision for this show.” Rounding out the Drama Department’s team include the dedicated Costume Team of Diana Inscho, Carla-Jo Leslie, Kim Martin, and Saundra Schwitz, as well as Set Designer Sandy Fedorak and Set Builder Mike Bachinsky.

“I know this show is going to be so much fun,” says Blue. “Everyone knows it will be a lot of work, but it will all be worth it in the end.”

The Drama Department will be presenting this smash-hit musical for 10 performances from December 4th to 7th at the Red Brick Arts Centre. Tickets go on sale on November 5th and will be $15 each.

“We anticipate another quick sell out,” says Taylor, referring to the record setting sell out of last year’s show, Grease. “We sold out in 30 minutes. It was crazy. That said, it was a huge compliment to our students, however it is a problem we would like to correct in order for as many people as possible to see the show.”

In the meantime, the cast and crew turn back to preparing for the show and getting ready for hours upon hours of action-packed rehearsals.