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The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

NE adaptation has vaudeville, glitz, murder, intrigue

NE+adaptation+has+vaudeville%2C+glitz%2C+murder%2C+intrigue

By Gerrit Goodwin/ ne news editor

NE student Sarah Armstrong plays the petulant and self-centered Roxie Hart, who sees her conviction as a chance to reinvent herself.
NE student Sarah Armstrong plays the petulant and self-centered Roxie Hart, who sees her conviction as a chance to reinvent herself.

Vaudeville, glamour, murder and intrigue are just a few themes present in NE Campus’ adaptation of the 1926 Broadway play Chicago.

Originally written by journalist and playwright Maurine Watkins, the play was later adapted into a musical by Bob Fosse, who also directed the choreography after the play’s conversion.

Chicago is set during the mid-1920s and follows two female criminals charged with murder and the ensuing sensationalism surrounding their trials.

NE student Krista Carson plays the role of Velma Kelly, a woman who murdered both her husband and her sister after finding them in bed together.

“She is point blank, doesn’t take crap, thinks she is fabulous and is very much trying to be the queen bee,” she said. “Personally, she is nothing like me, which is why I think she is so fun to play. She has secrets to keep, and there is always more to her than meets the eye.”

NE student Sarah Armstrong plays the petulant and self-centered Roxie Hart, who sees her conviction as a chance to reinvent herself.Photos by Hayden Posey/The Collegian
NE student Sarah Armstrong plays the petulant and self-centered Roxie Hart, who sees her conviction as a chance to reinvent herself.
Photos by Hayden Posey/The Collegian

The audience sees her change dramatically throughout the show as she struggles to stay relevant and on top, Carson said.

“I’m a dance major, so the choreography wasn’t the hardest part. It was bringing in the triple threat of acting, singing and dancing,” she said. “It’s something new and different for me, and although it can be challenging at times, I still look forward to performing.”

NE student Sarah Armstrong plays the role of Roxie Hart, another convicted murderer who continuously competes for media attention against her rival Velma.

“I think my character is a sweet girl despite the play being about sex, lust and murder,” she said. “She just has her priorities mixed up.”

Armstrong said she finds her character interesting, at times silly, and has plenty of fun portraying her because of Roxie’s abrupt and unnecessarily rude nature, which contradicts her own.

“I like being a brat, and I think that my character and Krista’s have a great chemistry when on stage together,” she said.

NE student Logan Hudson said he has seen the performance several times including once on Broadway and has also participated in two other performances of Chicago prior to NE.

“This isn’t like any normal production. It’s funny, dark and interesting,” he said. “We stuck as close as we could to the original Fosse feel of the show, and, to me, this is the closest I’ve seen a student production come to the original.”

Hudson said out of the other two productions he has been in, it was his first time playing lawyer Billy Flynn.

“He’s been a fun character to play. He’s confident, full of himself and at the top of his game,” he said. “The biggest challenge to playing a character so cocky and arrogant is how opposite he is from me. It definitely took some adjusting.”

The NE theater’s adaptation of Chicago stays true to its roots with singing, dancing and a roaring ’20s flair. NE student Krista Carson plays vaude-villain Velma Kelly, who murdered her husband and his mistress.
The NE theater’s adaptation of Chicago stays true to its roots with singing, dancing and a roaring ’20s flair. NE student Krista Carson plays vaude-villain Velma Kelly, who murdered her husband and his mistress.

NE communication arts chair and choreography director Linda Quinn said Chicago is her favorite musical and that she was greatly influenced by the Fosse technique.

“The Fosse technique in jazz requires strength and control. It’s important to study for all dancers,” she said. “My goal was to pay tribute to the choreography and legacy of Fosse by using his iconic moves while introducing my own style.”

Quinn said over the semester she has seen everyone grow as performers and is increasingly proud of the students.

“I’m proud of their professional growth. Chicago provided an opportunity for students to increase their skill level and learn the meaning of a professional production,” she said. “Musical theater teaches discipline, and you need to have discipline if you want to be successful in this profession.”

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