On Friday, Feb. 24, at 2:00 p.m., KO’s cast for the winter musical performed “Chicago,” a tale of murder, treachery, and infidelity, that captured the attention of the entire school and took students on a journey following two protagonists, Roxy and Velma, in their pursuit for fame after getting away with murder.
Also hosting shows on Saturday, Feb. 25, at 7:00 p.m., and Sunday, Feb. 26, at 2:00 p.m., KO’s theater department told a story that grapples with the role of media in American society, capitalizing on the corruption of the criminal justice system.
Theater Director Kyle Reynolds wrote a message about the major themes in the production as part of the Director’s Notes displayed in the pamphlets handed out before the musical. “Throughout the story, the media twists and turns the story to favor the greatest impact of a headline,” he wrote. “In turn the media fuels each character’s desperate call for attention, publicity, and fame, which only promotes more deception, murder, and trickery.”
Mr. Reynolds said that the cast had been preparing since the first week of December, and the results of their hard work were phenomenal. “It was great, a real showcase of the amount of work that has gone into the production,” he said.
Mr. Reynolds was the director and choreographer of the show, in charge of all the character analysis, blocking, and staging. “I wanted to do something that was a true triple threat, a combination of dancing, acting, and singing,” he said. “The highlights of it for me was the music and the dancing, which all came together at the end.”
Senior Olivia Coxon, who played a part in the “Cell Block Tango,” said that she was proud of the entire cast. “We accomplished a lot, more than I would have ever thought of when Mr. Reynolds first told us about his ideas.”
Junior Remy McCoy, who played the lead of Roxy in the show, said she agreed that their hard work paid off. “Everyone really stepped up and gave it their best,” she said. “As rehearsals went on, we got really close as a cast, and everyone was super supportive of one another.”
Sophomore Olivia Pear was part of the “Cell Block Tango,” and she said that the show was a success. “Mr. Reynolds has done a really good job of taking a really popular show and adapting it for high schoolers,” she said. “My favorite part was, by far, the dancing.”
Sophomore Snehaa Ram performed in the ensemble and said she agreed that the cast was very talented and ambitious.
“I wasn’t sure if we could pull it off at first since the choreography was super intense, but as we came closer to tech week, we saw everything come full circle, and the set and costumes looked amazing,” she said.
Olivia Coxon said that she got to make a lot of friends through the musical. “I love meeting new people. Every year there is a different vibe, and I love that.”
Sophomore Sadie Margolis said she agreed that she loved working as a team with her peers. “‘Chicago’ is such a big production with so many elements, and it really just came to life by the end,” she said. “I loved putting a smile on people’s faces, and I want the community to know that everyone can sing and dance and act. My favorite part was performing the ‘Cell Block Tango’ because we had a special energy that created such a fierce environment.”
Junior Maggie Eberle said she agreed that the production came together seamlessly which fostered a special feeling. “Chicago is a really difficult production and I think we rose to the occasion,” she said. “I loved the opening number, ‘All that Jazz’, which was a thrilling performance in which we created a vibe of mystery and deception.”
All in all, the audience also said they enjoyed the show. “I really liked the music and everyone was so talented,” junior Hannah Shames said. “They made the show engaging and interesting.”
Sophomore Ahana Nagarkatti said she agreed that the musical was amazing. “The set was phenomenal, and I liked the functioning of the jail cells, the elevator, and how the band was on the top of the platform,” she said.
Junior Brandon Stake said he thought the musical was performed very well. “My favorite part was when Mr. Dillow came on the stage and was the judge,” he said. “It was pretty funny.”
Junior Ella Schwartz said she agreed that the performance was very lively and entertaining. “I really enjoyed the musical because of how technical the show was, in terms of its set, choreography, and staging.”
Sophomore Melissa Hasbrook said she agreed that the choreography was spectacular. “The dancers were all in sync and you could tell they had worked very hard,” she said.
Olivia P. said that Mr. Reynolds has made theater more than just an extracurricular activity. “He has made theater a lifestyle, and you have to learn things outside of rehearsal as well.”
Olivia C. said she agreed that the theater program at KO has become much more involved. “I’ve had three different directors for the four years I was here, and it was a jump each time,” she said. “Theater is much more serious, and Mr. Reynolds has taken a vital role in it as the leader.”