By: Zoë Espiritu
Editor: Jia Kim
Last week, Kent Place put on the classic production Chicago. The show's director, Ms. Lesnik, musical director, Mr. Ginsberg, and choreographer, Ms. Hudson, all worked incredibly hard to put on such an amazing musical. The performance was on November 11th and 12th at 7:30 pm at the Hyde & Watson Theater. Students worked hard, which paid off as both shows sold out. KPS teachers and students were $15, and other guests were $20.
Chicago is a satire written during the Prohibition Era, commenting on the overabundance of jazz, liquor, and crime. The story follows Roxie Hart, a beautiful and cunning woman past the prime of her life, settled in a marriage with the plain, gullible Amos Hart. When Fred Casely, her lover, breaks the news that he wants to leave her, she shoots him in cold blood. In jail, Roxie meets Velma Kelly, a vaudeville superstar who claims to be innocent of the murder of her sister and husband, despite all evidence seeming to say otherwise. But she’s confident she’ll win after giving $50 to Matron Mama Morton, who’ll do her the favor of calling Billy Flynn, a charismatic lawyer, who’ll take anyone’s case for $5,000. The story goes through Roxie's trial and rises to fame.
On Friday, November 11th, Lily Gabriel '23, and Cat Gerbino '24 performed Hot Honey Rag at a morning meeting, and all the cast and crew wore their Chicago T-shirts. Later in the day, people started rolling with excitement into the theater and getting their hair, makeup, and clothing ready. The actors playing women put their hair into a low, side-parted bun with finger waves framing their faces, inspired by the iconic original hairstyle from the 1920s. Actors playing men also had a bun. As for makeup, the women in the show got falsies, most of which were put on by the fantastic head stage manager, Arabella Hubbauer '23. Many ensemble costumes were beautiful, with silky silver dresses that fit the period well, or accessories such as headbands and pearl necklaces. The dancers in the show, such as the “Cell Block Tango” or “All I Care About Is Love” ensemble, had many different outfits, ranging from a black leotard to shiny skirts for “Razzle Dazzle” to black pants and a bowler hat for “Roxie”.
Backstage, people were taking Instax pictures, filming TikToks, and taking mirror selfies in the dance studio and dressing room. Finally, with 15 minutes until the top of the show, the cast, crew, and teachers were called into the dance studio as our seniors, Lily Gabriel and Lilly Fanelle, prepped us with warm-ups and a speech. Soon after, we got called to places, everyone went backstage, and we could see the crazy sights of dozens of people all taking their seats. The show soon began, and we were filled with excitement and butterflies. The crowd was bursting with energy as Cat Gerbino '24 came onstage as Velma Kelly. The dancing was well-coordinated and choreographed, and the singing was powerful. Overall, the show was very successful and everything we’d dreamed of, so by the end of the show, we were all excited for the next day.
November 12th, it was expected to be a regular theater kid Saturday night as we were coming to our closing night of Chicago. However, we, unfortunately, got the news that Lily Gabriel, who plays Roxie, got sick in the morning and could not make it to the show. The news shocked everyone, and because of that, we had to recast sudden understudies to make sure the show went on. Logan Corrales '24, who typically plays Matron "Mama" Morton, was called on the phone at 11:00 am by Ms. Lesnik and asked to step into the role of Roxie. Lorelei Gustafon-Johnson '26, who usually plays Kitty/Ensemble, was asked to step into the role of Matron "Mama" Morton. Evelynn Mendelson '26, who typically plays Harrison/Ensemble, was asked to take over the part of Kitty. We had a new set time to come to rehearsal due to this sudden change, and Logan and Lorelei came in at 2:00 pm while the rest of the cast came in at 4:00 pm. It was crazy with so many blocking modifications, but the whole cast was understanding. We got through the rehearsal and set the stage for the show's start, filled with anticipation, worry, and eagerness. Logan Corrales '24 was stunning as Roxie Hart, and Lorelei was a superstar as Matron "Mama" Morton. Despite having little time to prepare, they did amazing, and the whole cast and crew ensured they got all the blocking right and supported them throughout the performance. After the show, flowers were given to teachers and understudies, and a poster plus flowers were given to the seniors. We were all filled with sadness and happiness as, for some, it was their first show, and for others, it was their last musical as high schoolers. After closing night, many cast members went to The Office in Summit, where we all ate, laughed, and talked as we shared our many adventures from the show!
After Chicago, many of the cast and crew were asked questions about the show!
What is your favorite dance number?
Mia N. ‘25 - Me and My Baby
Charlotte G. ‘25 - Cell Block Tango
Ceci H. ‘26 - Roxie
Ani M, ‘26 - We Both Reached For the Gun
Cat G. ‘24 - Hot Honey Rag
One word to describe the show?
Colette G. ‘25 - Extravagant
Elijah H. ‘25 - Jazz-tastic
Charlotte G. ‘25 - Pop
Ceci H. ‘26 - Jazzy
Ani M, ‘26 - Lively
What was your favorite line/moment?
Mia N. ‘25 - “Drive me nertz”
Deysi R. ‘25 - “I gotta pee”
Emma M. ‘26 - “yea…yea…sure…sure”
Elijah H. ‘25 - “I loved Alvin Lipshitz…”
Brooke T. ‘24 - “Single my FOOT”
Favorite song from the show?
Deysi R. ‘25 - All I Care About Love
Colette G. ‘25 - When You’re Good To Mama
Emma M. ‘26 - Mister Cellophane
Cat G. ‘24 - I Can’t Do It Alone
Brooke T. ‘24 - Funny Honey
The cast included (in order of appearance) Kai Markley ‘24 (emcee/Fred Casely), Cat Gerbino ‘24 (Velma Kelly), Lily Gabriel ‘23 (Roxie Hart), Charlotte Grushkin ‘25 (Amos Hart), Mia Ramos ‘26 (Fogarty/Ensemble), Zoë Espiritu ‘25 (Liz), Andrea Hanchuk ‘24 (Annie), Ceci Hirawat ‘26 (June), Lilly Fanelle ‘23 (Hunyak), Alice Carr ‘24 (Mona), Logan Corrales ‘24 (Matron “Mama” Morton), Hannah Kelley ‘26 (Billy Flynn), Colette Gentile ‘25 (Mary Sunshine), Lorelei Gustafon-Johnson ‘26 (Kitty/Ensemble), Emma Mcquade ‘26 (Harry/Ensemble), Mia Nagger ‘25 (Reporter/Ensemble), Isabella Deng ‘25 (Judge/Ensemble), Evelyn Mendelsohn ‘26 (Harrison/Ensemble), Jacquelyn Reig ‘26 (Clerk/Ensemble), Brooke Tufankjian ‘24 (Juror One), Brooke Dambrot ‘26 (Ensemble), Cooper Grogran ‘26 (Ensemble), Jia Kim ‘25 (Ensemble), Mariana Pirez-Ramirez ‘26 (Ensemble), Isha Talpade ‘25 (Ensemble), Anabella Mendieta-Frost ‘26 (Ensemble), and Julia Wu ‘24 (Ensemble).
The crew included Arabella Hubbauer ‘23 (Head Stage Manager), Vanessa Lee ‘24 (Assistant Stage Manager), Carolina Ikuno ‘24 (Scenic Painting/Design), Elina Kapur ‘23 (Poster/Playbill Design), Mia Naggar ‘25 (Playbill Layout), Grayson Young ‘24 (Light Board Operator), Sylvia Andrews ‘24 (Running Crew), Chelsea Cui ‘25 (Running Crew), Geo Thatch ‘25 (Running Crew), Tara Khurana ‘26 (Running Crew), Anjali Jerath ‘24 (Running Crew), Elijah Hall ‘25 (Running Crew), and Deysi Rodriguez ‘25 (Running Crew).