Xavier University Theatre Presents CHICAGO, Oct. 18-26

XUT_Chicago Cellblock

Peyton Wright as Liz, Jenna Treinen as Annie, Kertu Bell as June, Jo Dearman as Hunyak, Ellie Deutsch as Velma & Julia Olinger as Mona from The Cellblock Tango. Photo by Stephen Skiles.

(CINCINNATI, Oct. 7, 2019) – Xavier University continues its 2019-20 season with Broadway’s longest-running American musical, Chicago. The Tony Award-winning show runs for two weekends, from Oct. 18 to 26, in Xavier’s Gallagher Student Center Theatre.

The raucous Jazz Age is brought to life in all its corrupt glory in one of musical theatre’s most popular productions. Chicago is the story of Velma Kelly and Roxie Hart, two women who rise to fame through cunning and murder. A satire of the legal system and our obsession with fame, the show remains timely as well as entertaining.

“I’ve wanted to direct Chicago for years,” said Director of Theatre Stephen Skiles.  “The show’s perspective on celebrity and media feels ahead of its time when viewed in the context of contemporary culture. Plus, the show is filled with great song-and-dance numbers that have challenged our students and promise great fun for audiences.”

“I’m honored to step into such an iconic role in the musical theatre canon to tell the story of a woman who took her life by the reigns without hiding behind a man,” said junior Kelsey Schwarber, who plays Roxie. “Roxie Hart defied the norms for women of her time. Chicago tells a story of America that remains relevant today as we navigate the triumphs and failures of the criminal justice system, women’s rights, and power in friendship.”

Chicago, at its core, is about pursuing dreams,” noted senior Andy Girmann, who plays Roxie’s long-suffering husband, Amos. “Whether those dreams are big or small, each of the characters in the show would do anything to achieve them. The production offers a fascinating look into human nature and desire.”


Ellie Deutsch as Velma Kelly, Max Carlson as Billy Flynn & Kelsey Schwarber as Roxie Hart. Photo by Stephen Skiles.

The principal cast also features junior Ellie Deutsch as Velma Kelly, sophomore Caroline Marino as Matron “Mama” Morton, junior Dylan Van Camp as Mary Sunshine, and junior Max Carlson as Billy Flynn.

The ensemble includes first-year students Carter Bechtol, Anna Campise, Anthony Contreras, Parker Culp, and Jenna Treinen; sophomores Kertu Bell, Jo Dearman, Jackson Frazier, Danielle Jacobs, Julia Olinger, Ryan Whitford, and Peyton Wright; junior Grant Zentmeyer; and senior Michael Rowlett.

In addition to Skiles, other members of the creative team include Joe Beumer (Set and Lighting Designer), Jessica Pitcairn (Costume Designer), Scot Buzza (Music Director), Dee Anne Bryll (Choreographer), junior Steven Stapleton (Sound Designer), and Joe Leonard (Technical Director). The stage manager is sophomore Liz Apollonio. Assistant stage managers are sophomores Josie Daley and Matt Sherman.

Performances take place at 7:30 p.m. on Oct. 18, 19, 24, 25, and 26 and 2:00 p.m. on Oct. 19. Tickets for Chicago are available now through the Xavier University Theatre Box Office. They are $18 each for adults and $13 each for students, as well as Xavier faculty and staff. To purchase tickets, visit www.xavier.edu/theatretickets or call 513-745-3939.


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