Academys Chicago: Teen Edition was a musical to remember!
Academy’s “Chicago: Teen Edition” was a musical to remember!
Photo Credit: Cassidy Forte/Achona Online

Academy Presents “Chicago: Teen Edition”

On February 29th-March 3rd, the Academy of the Holy Names’ high school theater department performed “Chicago: Teen Edition.” This vibrant musical was a must-see and so much fun to watch. Set in Chicago during the jazz age, the original musical was based on a 1926 play with the same name, written by reporter Maurine Dallas Watkins, about actual criminals and crimes on which she reported. The musical was brought to life with music by John Kander, lyrics by Fred Ebb, and a book written by Bob Fosse and Fred Ebb. Fosse also directed and choreographed the original production.

“Chicago: Teen Edition” follows the story of Roxie Hart, a young woman who had dreamt of becoming a star. When she finds herself on trial for the murder of Fred Casely, she turns to the infamous lawyer Billy Flynn for help with her trial. Along the way, she meets the other inmates of the Cook County Jail, including the glamorous Velma Kelly, and the story follows the two women as they compete for the spotlight in a battle of fame and fortune.

What makes this production so unique is its interesting characters and how it’s been adapted particularly for a teenage cast and audience. Also a movie released in 2002, with the songs and dances of the musical reflecting modern pop culture, making it relatable and relevant for a teen audience. We live in a world where most teens want to be the next “influencer” and viral star, and platforms like TikTok and Instagram affect this. The themes of celebrity obsession and a corrupt justice system in the musical are common things we still see in today’s society, equally common in the 1920’s age of “celebrity criminal”, the original inspiration for the play and musical.

Madeline Morgan (’26) was a principal dancer in the musical. She talked about her experience in the show, saying “It was really fun and the cast is like my family. My favorite dance was “Me and My Baby” because it was so much fun to perform. Everyone is sad that the show is officially over, but we are all excited about how much our hard work paid off.”

My favorite part of the musical was when Billy Flynn was controlling Roxie Hart, making sure that everything she said to the press made her sound good. I thought this scene was so funny as the cast members highlighted the importance of Billy making moves as Roxie was his puppet. It was also interesting how the “news reporters” in this scene were getting into their role, eating up every word Roxie said.

The Academy High School theater department always produces the best shows, and “Chicago: Teen Edition” was one for the books!

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