‘Chicago’ comes to Forest Roberts Theatre

Clairisa Laws

re-AH_ChicagoWatch out Northern Michigan University, the musical “Chicago” is coming to the Forest Roberts Theatre next week.

Witness Roxie Hart as she tries to prove her innocence in Chicago after shooting her lover. From murderesses to lawyers, “Chicago” shows Hart’s journey as she discovers what it means to kill for fame, according to the Forest Roberts Theatre website.

The show opens 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 19 and will run through Friday, Nov. 21. with an additional show at 1 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 22 , all at the Forest Roberts Theatre.

“Chicago” was written by Maurine Dallas Watkins and was based off of two unrelated news stories about women who committed murders, according to the FRT website. “Chicago” director and associate communication and performance studies professor, Ansley Valentine said the play is really an examination of the cult of celebrity and media circus that surrounds high profile murder cases.

“The play is based on real court cases from the 1920’s, but anyone would recognize similarities, tactics and themes from more contemporary cases like Jodi Arias. The more things change, the more they stay the same,” Valentine said.

Seniors and theater majors Erin Resteiner, Alex Marks and Jacob DeLong are actively involved in the production. All three individuals share “Chicago” as their capstone project and alumna Liza Hunter is contributing to the musical as a guest artist.

Resteiner is taking on the role of Roxie Hart in the production.

“The wild and high-end show is my capstone project. The project is our specialty that we work on over the years,” Resteiner said. “My specialty is acting and this is my final role. I am putting in a lot of heart and energy into this one. It is special and I am excited to see the results next week.”

Previous roles that Resteiner has played have been in “Les Miserables,” “A Year with Frog and Toad” and the “25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee.”

As for DeLong, his senior capstone project is to help choreograph “Chicago.” DeLong has been in “1776,” “Legally Blonde” and “Les Miserables,” at NMU. The senior said the musical has many different elements tied into the production.

“If you enjoy singing, dancing and acting, the triple threat is right there for you,” DeLong said. “When everyone is out there [on stage] it’s like ‘boom there it is,’ we are in full force-the vocals, the acting and dancing.”

DeLong said this musical is more stylistic versus other performances he has contributed to and he is excited to see how “Chicago” plays out.

“Seeing my choreography on the main stage is what I am looking forward to the most. Also, it is really cool and exciting to see everyone grow in their roles,” Delong said.

“Chicago” has six Tony Awards, two Olivier Awards, a Grammy and thousands of standing ovations, according to “Chicago The Musical’s” website. “Chicago” is a dance heavy production. Valentine said that the FRT is just one of the few theatres in the country allowed to produce the musical.

“It is a tremendous honor,” Valentine said. “I’m excited to bring such a fun production to the Marquette community.”

Tickets are $15 for the general public, $10 for students and $5 for students with NMU IDs.

“This show is ruckus and fun, wild and such a spectacle. There is a lot of dancing, movement and fun costumes. “Chicago” will be an excitement to see alone, much due to the voices and talent that we have. I think it will be a top notch production,” Resteiner said.