A preview of the upcoming high school production, Chicago

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photo by Sally Rogal

High school students reherse for the upcoming showing of the musical "Chicago."

After countless hours of hard work and dedication, the CESJDS high school production of “Chicago” is gearing up for its opening night performance. 

The 43 students involved in the musical have been practicing for the last three months. Junior Ruby Mendelson who will be playing Velma Kelly, one of the female leads, thinks that the rehearsals have been very productive. 

“We started out working on the music and dances and then we moved into blocking scenes and now we are really ahead,” Mendelson said. “We have been running the whole show through for a couple [of] weeks now and it has really been going well.”

  As the show time nears, musical director Dr. David Solomon is excited to watch the students perform and get responses from the audience. 

“When they rehearse, there is obviously no one in the audience, so you could be telling a joke or singing a song and you don’t get the laughter or the applause that you will once you are performing in front of an audience so that is always exciting and the actors feed off of the audience’s energy,” Solomon said. 

Despite the difficult material and the amount of music and dance routines in the show, Solomon feels that the students “have really risen to the occasion.” 

“[This show] is a little more abstract than some of the shows we have done in the past so we can be very clever and creative in how we state things and the students have responded really well to that,” Solomon said. 

This year’s stage managers, seniors Brianna Loshin and Naomi Jaray, have been focused on the behind-the-scenes aspects of the show. Some of their responsibilities include making sure all of the props are made and that the costumes are hung up correctly. Loshin says that this year’s show is a lot different for stage crew as it has been in the past. 

“Usually we have a lot of things we have to bring on and off the stage or things we have to get ready backstage but there are only a few things we have to do this year so it is a little harder to make sure that everybody [on stage crew] feels that they are a part of the show,” Loshin said. 

She first got involved in stage crew in eighth grade and since then has enjoyed hanging out with her friends and taking part in the production of a show. In addition, Loshin has been able to learn many valuable lessons from her leadership role. 

“I have mostly learned patience because it is a really long process and everything has to go correctly. If something is going wrong you have to learn to improvise,” Loshin said. 

Since “Chicago” is such a well-known musical, the ticket sales have been great according to Solomon. He advises anyone considering seeing the show to get their tickets in advance if they want a seat in the main house. General admission tickets will also be sold at the door before every performance. 

“I am really proud of the students. When a show goes up it is bittersweet because it is so exciting and you have worked so hard towards it…” Solomon said. “This has been such a great group of students to work with. When it is all done I am going to miss working with them very much, so I am looking forward to three great performances and celebrations afterwards [sic].”