Winthrop Drama Society Flexes Theater Muscle with Performance of Chicago

Feathers, flashy costumes, and musical storytelling set against a dismal backdrop in the roaring 20s, is one way to transport an audience back in time. “Chicago the Musical,” performed by the Winthrop Drama Society, has all the ingredients to make you feel as if you are part of the murder, deceit and corruption that goes on amongst a cast of memorable characters.

“I’ve never played a role like this,” said sophomore, Heather Buccini who plays the lead, Roxie Hart, a self-centered yet sympathetic fame-seeker who spirals downward from the corruption that acclaim can bestow on a person. “The acting was challenging for me and I had to work hard to get my normally high voice to sound deeper and older.”

The show, scheduled to hit the Neil Shapiro Center for Performing Arts Nov. 15, 16, and 17, will showcase 20s-style dance moves and songs that tell the captivating story of two death-row murderesses caught up in a battle for publicity.

“This musical is definitely more gritty than other musicals we’ve done,” said Ian Page, who plays Billy Flynn, the sleazy lawyer who takes pride in his job at getting celebrities out of trouble. “It’s deceit, lies, and corruption shown through the lens of musicality.”

Page, dedicated to his role, dyed his hair for the part and dedicated countless hours to perfecting the fast-talking, showman style character.

Tough, sexy, and sarcastic, Velma Kelly, is played by junior, Fiona MacPhail. In the show, MacPhail adopts Kelly’s fiercely competitive nature as she rivals Roxie for celebrity attention.

“The hardest part of my role was getting the tone of it perfected,” said Fiona MacPhail, who relied on the show’s choreographer, Jaime Montesano, to help her perfect the different dance style. “My favorite song is ‘I Can’t Do It Alone,’ because you get to see a different side of Velma, who normally doesn’t show a lot of emotion.”

Both Buccini and MacPhail are cutting their hair for their roles, keeping the look of their characters as believable as possible.

“This show is definitely challenging the drama society because we typically don’t do glamorous, Broadway shows like this,” said drama teacher Karen Calinda. “We want something that will capture everyone’s attention and will keep things moving.”

The show, complete with period accurate costume and makeup, will be showing Nov. 15, 16 and 17 at 7 pm and Nov. 17 at 2 pm. Tickets can be purchased at the door or online at:

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