McHenry West High School students have been dancing, singing and acting their hearts out to bring "Chicago" to their West Campus stage.
Set amid the razzle-dazzle decadence of the 1920s, "Chicago" is the story of Roxie Hart, a housewife and nightclub dancer who kills her on-the-side lover after he threatens to walk out on her.
Desperate to avoid conviction, she dupes the public, the media and her rival cellmate, Velma Kelly, by hiring Chicago’s slickest criminal lawyer, Billy Flynn, to transform her malicious crime into a barrage of sensational headlines, the likes of which might just as easily be ripped from today’s tabloids.
The notorious musical is run entirely by students.
“It is a completely student-led performance, where students are doing things they’ve never done before," producer Christine Purich said. "This is an across-the-board student-designed production."
One of the never-before-done things is learning difficult choreography.
“From what I understand from the students, they’re being challenged more than they have in the past, so they’re excited about the dancing, and I am, too," choreographer Kara Posmer said. "It’s challenging choreography, and they’re meeting the challenge."
MCHS choral teacher Derek Galvicius, who is directing the production, said the students are nothing short of "poised performers."
"The level of calm and peace I’ve had is not something I’m used to through a musical, but because of all the student leadership and how the students are owning this production, it’s made this a stressless project for me," he said. "I’m so very proud of everything that’s being accomplished, the space we’re in and the help I’ve gotten from my assistant directors and adult leadership."
Performances will take place at 7 p.m. Feb. 28 and 29 and March 6 and 7, as well as 2 p.m. March 1.
Tickets will be available at the door, costing $8 for students and seniors and $10 for adults.