WHS PAC presents: Chicago

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The Chicago Musical is set in the jazz age and explores diverse themes such as corruption, adultery, love, and ambition. The musical focuses on Roxie Hart who is played by Lily Davis, a current sophomore at Washington. Roxie murders a man she’s been having an affair with and is sent to jail, where she meets Velma Kelly, played by Hailey Vittoria, a current junior at Washington. Velma Kelly is a former jazz star turned criminal who seeks attention. The musical’s plot is fueled by the competition between the two stars as they compete for the spotlight. 

Auditions for the musical at Washington took place in December and rehearsals began a month later in January. These rehearsals consisted of learning lines, dance choreography, and harmony in songs with different directors to assist with each. This musical showcases the “teen edition” that includes slightly more appropriate content in comparison to the original version that was catered towards an adult audience. 

“It’s definitely quite a bit of time commitment, especially as it gets later in the rehearsal process,” says Lily Davis, who plays Roxie Hart. She further explains that a typical rehearsal weekday would be from 4pm until 8pm, but that some rehearsals do extend until 10pm. Davis describes that at the beginning of the rehearsal process, you usually only attend when you have specific parts to work on, but nearing the end of the rehearsal stages, everyone, both cast and crew, are present to pull together the magic. Davis, a lead in the production, mentions that aside from rehearsals, the cast also help the crew and set designers with creating the set pieces. She adds that the tech director, Stuart L., hopes for the tech crew and cast to work hand in hand as they work on different parts of the musical. 

Sachin Toor, a junior at Washington, works the mics off stage. Toor explains the backstage difficulties of the musical’s production. He shares that “There are so many cues going on at the same time that our stage manager is talking the entire time.” Toor’s responsibility is to ensure that the actors can be heard when speaking and singing, especially when harmonizing. This requires him to focus on several people at the same time. He also gives insight into other various aspects of rehearsal for the crew and says that, “There are hundreds of light and sound cues, an insane amount of spotlights, a lot of deck changes.” Due to the numerous technical features of the production, the behind the scenes of the show takes much effort and concentration, especially with the many overlapping instructions. 

Despite the hardship in creating the musical, both Davis and Toor claim that they wouldn’t have it any other way. Toor describes how “the energy is really awesome” and how “It’s a really fun show that has so many comedic moments that help you enjoy it.” Davis agrees and says, “Honestly, the thing I like most about it is the people I get to work with.” Davis further explains how the co-stars and crew are all talented, incredible people who make working together a pleasure. The lively and comedic atmosphere of the show also lightens up the mood into a fun setting for the actors and crew to get along and enjoy their long hours together. Despite the hardships the cast faced, the hard work they put into the production caused Chicago to be an immediate success.

Deepthi moved to Fremont at the age of three and has grown up there for the most part. Despite her junior year being her first year at the paper, she has always been interested in writing, often creating stories and hooks for fun. Deepthi is interested in social issues but hates the idea of writing about politics. She likes biking, hanging out with her friends, writing, watching TV shows, ice skating, and jamming to music. She is also a dedicated TA to her Sunday school and helps educate little kids on their mother tongue. Growing up, Deepthi hopes to be a pediatrician or ER doctor, something she has dreamed of since she was little.

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