Diana Hurtado ’17 (left) and Emma Linsenmeyer ’16 played femme fatales Velma Kelly and Roxie Hart in the ACT’s production of “Chicago,” directed by Christine Freije ’13. Photo by Dan Vaillancourt
Since its debut on Broadway in 1975, Chicago has enjoyed success on stage and screen, perhaps most notably the Academy Award-winning 2002 starring Renée Zellweger in the role of Roxie Hart, played in the ACT production by Emma Linsenmeyer ’16. Photo by Dan Vaillancourt
Brian Ott ’16 as slick defense attorney Billy Flynn. Stage Manager Julia Dunn ’16 said that one of Flynn’s iconic lines, “That's Chicago,” became a slogan of sorts for the cast and crew. Photo by Dan Vaillancourt
Anastasia Tramontozzi ’16 as Matron “Mama” Morton Photo by Dan Vaillancourt
Diana Hurtado ’17 as singer/actress Velma Kelly, who rules the Cook County Jail until Roxie Hart starts to chip away at her reign. Photo by Dan Vaillancourt
Alyssa White ‘18 (center, in sunflower ensemble) as Mary Sunshine performing "A Little Bit of Good" with ensemble members Eve Wenger ’18 (bottom right), Alexis Rappaport ‘19 (bottom left), Adam Decoste ’19 (back left), and James Falconer ’19 (back right). Photo by Dan Vaillancourt
Emma Linsenmeyer ’16 as Roxie Hart in her gray prison dress (center) performing "Me and My Baby" with the cast. Photo by Dan Vaillancourt
Emma Linsenmeyer ’16 as defendant Roxie Hart and Brian Ott ’16 as attorney Billy Flynn performing "We Both Reached for the Gun," the number director Margaret Freije ’13 describes as “a blast.”
Photo by Dan Vaillancourt
In addition to a cast of 17 students, the ACT production of Chicago included co-producers Erik Schneider ’16 and Tim Rice ’16, choreographer Carly O’Brien ’17, vocal directors Phil Losquadro ’18 and Hannah Gabriel ’17, music director Meaghan McGeary ’16, set designer Thomas Kehoe ’17, lighting designer Christopher O’Neil ’17, costume designer Lexi Elracher ’17, and stage manager Julia Dunn ’16. Photo by Dan Vaillancourt
Leading up to the production, “Chicago” was all the buzz on campus and quickly became a blockbuster: tickets to the Alternate College Theatre (ACT) production sold out in just three days. This highly anticipated and well-known musical, directed by Christine Freije ’13 and coproduced by Erik Schneider ’16 and Tim Rice ’16, was seen by more than 900 students, faculty, staff, and alumni over five performances during Winter Homecoming weekend, becoming the most popular ACT production in over a decade.
From directing and designing to producing and performing, the production was entirely student run through ACT, one of the largest and oldest student groups at the College. “Chicago” was a challenging choice, demanding everything to be bigger than typical ACT productions, says Freije, who returned to campus to direct the musical. With 17 people in the cast, an extensive backstage crew, and a fairly complicated set with many moving components, Freije and her team had big ambitions for the final product— and they did not disappoint.
“The amount of work that every individual put into these productions was incredible, and the show quality proves it time and again,” says Diana Hurtado ’17, who played Velma Kelly in the production. “The fact that we broke records and got to be part of ACT history as such a successful production still feels like a dream.”
Read more about the production of “Chicago”
Such a pleasure to see ACT still flourishing after all these years. Congrats on Chicago!