Chicago - The Musical
Old Teachers College Auditorium, Armidale -
Directed, Musically Directed and Choreography by John Goodfellow
Lyrics by Fred Ebb. Music by John Kander. Book by Fred Ebb and Bob Fosse. Original Production directed and choreographed by Bob Fosse. Based on the Play by Maurine Dallas Watkins. By special arrangement with Dominie Pty Ltd.
The world first saw Chicago - A Musical Vaudeville at the 46th street Theatre, New York, in June 1975. It had taken 20 years for producers to convince Maurine Dallas Watkins (author of the original play) to allow them to bring Chicago onto the musical stage. Approval was finally granted after her death! The merry murderesses you see onstage are all based on real-life cases Watkins reported on for the Chicago Tribune. Scary but true!
The 1975 production was somewhat ahead of it's time, but the Broadway Revival in 1997 scooped the TONY awards that year, including the TONYs for best revival and best choreography.
My affair with Chicago began in 1997. With whispers of an upcoming Australian production based on the Broadway Revival all of the girls at W.A.A.P.A were desperate to be a part of it and the songs were performed at any opportunity! The end of 1998 saw the rumours come true and Caroline O'Connor performed a Velma Kelly like no other before her. I was completely hooked!
Armidale's Chicago - The Musical grew from what was originally to be a semi-staged concert to the full scale all singing, all dancing spectacular you are about to see this evening. The concept and design is inspired by the Broadway Revival production and the original Bob Fosse choreography. In fact, the final number (Hot Honey Rag) performed by Jane and Catherine is adapted directly from the original Fosse choreography.
Credit must go to a wonderful, talented cast who have worked tirelessly for the past five and a half weeks. Their focus, enthusiasm and positive attitudes have transformed a potentially daunting task into a thoroughly enjoyable and rewarding experience!
My special thanks to Marney Tilley and Nadia Ozanne for all of their extra efforts, to Cathy Archer for her support and advice, and to all who have contributed to the past few months of my life being such an enormous learning curve! I thank you.
And now, sit back, relax and enjoy an evening of pure entertainment...
Roxie Hart: Catherine Wright, Velma Kelly: Jane Andersen, Billy Flynn: Brad Crook, Mama Morton: Donna Wainohu, Amos Hart: Will Coventry, Mary Sunshine: Byron Spencer, Fred Casely: James Rutten, 'Go to Hell' Kitty: Ruth Strutt,
June: Lauren Whitmore, Annie: Daniela Edwards, Hunyak: Wax Miller, Liz: Nicolle Kennedy, Mona: Rachel Menzies
Bandleader: John Goodfellow, Piano: Cathy Archer, French Horn: Bruce Menzies, Keyboards: Robin Bradley, Trombone: Katie Bradley, Drums: Chris Bradley, Trumpet 1: Wayne Elliot, Tuba: Terry Million, Reeds: Janet Million,
Chris Garden, Double Bass: Wendy Griffiths, Guitar: Steffan Johnson, Trumpet 2: Penny Marsh
Director/Musical Director/Choreography/Design: John Goodfellow
Producers: Marney Tilley, Nadia Ozanne
Stage Manager: Marney Tilley
Backstage Muscles: Sean Russell
Props Manager: Catherine Wright
Production Assistant: Gordon Cope
Publicity: Jane Andersen
Assistant to the Choreographer: Camilla Coventry
Sound: Nick Monk, Lissa Monk
Set Construction: Gordon Cope, Colin Barry
Lighting Design: Nadia Ozanne
Lighting Rigging: Tim Wilkins, Allyson Hecker
Lighting Operator: Simon Polson
John Goodfellow, Madeleine Zell, Hanneke Raanhuis, Jane Andersen
Rehearsal pianists: Liz Logan,
Front of House: Bill Strutt, Isabel Strutt
Colin Barry, Waine Grafton, Barbara Urbonas, Dot Pollard, Friends of the
Old Teachers College, Cattlemans Motor Inn, Graham's Signs and
Screenprints, Theatre CATS