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The Windy Hill

The student news site of Methacton High School

The student news site of Methacton High School

The Windy Hill

The student news site of Methacton High School

The Windy Hill

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MHS Theatre Company’s Performance of “Chicago: Teen Edition” Coming Up

Paige Alaishuski (left) and Natalie Zebrowski during Nowadays in Chicago: Teen Edition
Paige Alaishuski (left) and Natalie Zebrowski during Nowadays in Chicago: Teen Edition

The MHS Theatre Company will perform Chicago: Teen Edition, on March 14, 15, and 16. All shows will be at 7 P.M. in the MHS auditorium.

The show follows Roxie Hart (Paige Alaishuski), a young woman living in Chicago in 1928, who murders the man she is having an affair with, Fred Casely (Cavan Mackenzie). When her crime is discovered, she is brought to jail. There, she meets Velma Kelly (Natalie Zebrowski), a Vaudevillian performer who murdered her husband and sister. Velma has become a local celebrity due to sympathetic newspaper reporters such as Mary Sunshine (Mandi Chesney). Roxie begins to neglect her unnoticed husband, Amos Hart (Juno Walter), while she vies with Velma for the attention of her lawyer, Billy Flynn (Rogan Mackenzie), and the press.

Scheduling has always been one of the most difficult facets of putting an MHSTC show together. “Teenagers are incredibly busy,” Mrs. Fitzgerald, the show’s director, said. Despite the challenge, the people involved with the show have found workarounds, and Chicago: Teen Edition is coming together quickly.

The production process can also be arduous at times. Senior Em Koch says that the current stage, in which everything is learned and the goal is to improve it as much as possible, “is not the most fun part of the process but it’s super important.”

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Putting together all of the lines, acting, choreography, live music, lights, and sound has been a complicated obstacle that Chicago: Teen Edition has had to surmount. Mrs. Naylor, assistant director, commented that “[putting] it all together for the first stumble through… is the most challenging” part of any musical production.

For any part of the production that may be difficult or boring, innumerable facets excite everyone involved. For example, Mrs. Naylor enjoys “moments of bloopers during rehearsal that break up the monotony.” Mrs. Fitzgerald loves “watching the individual pieces come together to create the whole picture.” Senior Nora Alaishuski (Annie) enjoys “the variety of things [she gets] to do in the show” as a murderess. And Koch likes when the crew begins coming to rehearsals because “it means we’re getting close to opening night”.

Over 80 MHS students have been involved with Chicago: Teen Edition, and have had unique roles to play. For instance, a team of cast members was assembled to design the newspapers used in the show. Every newspaper that will be on stage was designed by Gigi Tang, Daphne Johnson, Nora Alaishuski, Mandi Chesney, Evie Sullivan, Samantha Cranmer, or Margot Ferrara.

Many students are planning to come see the show. Freshman Adhara Reddy has friends in the production, and she has memories of watching musicals with her mother. 

“I think this will be [a] great experience to see the amazing and hard-working actors shine [their] light,” she said.

Senior Cora Heiser, a Master of Ceremonies in the show, encourages people to come to the show. 

“The cast and crew have all worked very hard to put on a really amazing show,” she said.

Junior Cece Montalbano also says that audiences will enjoy the “interesting story,” as well as the “music, dances, and costumes,” which “are also so amazing”.

Other named roles in the show include Detective Fogarty (Hunter Maertzig), a police officer; Liz (Em Koch), Annie (Nora Alaishuski), June (Samantha Cranmer), Hunyak (Hannah Lake), and Mona (Amelia Syx), five ‘murderesses’, or women accused of murder; Mama (Sonja Otero), the warden of the prison; the Masters of Ceremonies (Cora Heiser and Joelle Miles), narrator-like characters; Kitty (Brianna LaFreeda) and Harry (Eli Hughes), a couple; the Judge (Abby Drummond-Alston); Harrison (Gavin Jacobs), the prosecutor; the Clerk (Jill Reilley); and a Juror (Ava Nascimento).

Show tickets can be bought at https://www.showtix4u.com/event-details/79923. Tickets are $7 for students and seniors and $15 for adults.

Paige Alaishuski (left) and Natalie Zebrowski during Nowadays in Chicago: Teen Edition
Joelle Miles (left) and Cora Heiser narrating in Chicago: Teen Edition
Juno Walter (left) and Rogan Mackenzie during Mr. Cellophane in Chicago: Teen Edition
Mrs. Francisco, music director, playing Cell Block Tango on the piano in front of (from left) Jessica Gabbell (student director, standing in for Em Koch), Nora Alaishuski (Annie), Samantha Cranmer (June), Hannah Lake (Hunyak), Natalie Zebrowski (Velma), and Amelia Syx (Mona)

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Margot Ferrara
Margot Ferrara, Staff Writer

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