Chicago: Darien High School’s Spring Musical
If you do not live under a rock or have decent loudspeakers in your room, you most likely know that Theater 308 is performing “Chicago”, the Broadway play, as the spring musical. With the success of the last musical “Legally Blonde,” Darien High School has officially entered an era were the plays done at school will not be censored, or “dumbed down.” In the past, DHS has done some mature plays that removed most of the adult-like content. In truth, the reason “Legally Blonde” was so successful with the student body was because of its use of adult content that made the crowd howl with laughter. Once the first performance happened, news spread like wildfire and the race to get tickets began. Hopefully, the same will come with “Chicago.”
Trina Vega, from the hit show Victorious, was the first person to introduce me to the realm of Broadway. Coincidentally, the play she performed in in the show was none other than “Chicago.” After watching Victorious, I thought that “Chicago” was a comedy play that targeted youth as an audience. That assumption could not be farther from the truth. In reality, “Chicago” is a play based on the foundation of adult humor and topics that many Nickelodeon viewers would find way too inappropriate for kids. Fortunately, DHS realizes that teens desire to feel like adults, which has led to Theater 308 selecting to perform more adult-like plays, including The Drowsy Chaperone, Legally Blonde and now announcing that its Spring 2019 production will be Chicago.
DHS students had different associations with the show.
“When I hear the word Chicago, I think of Victorious the show,” sophomore Sophia Bender said.
“I think of my 7th grade Chicago Medley in chorus class,” junior Sophia Perkins said.
“I think of the Windy City,” ninth grader Alexis Lyons said.
The Broadway play Chicago is based on the lives of Roxie and Velma, two girls with the dream of being famous. Roxie desires to be famous, and when the man she is sleeping with does not keep his promise of making her famous, she shoots him. Velma is an actress who has slipped from the grasps of fame and is trying to claw her way back to the top. Unfortunately, she finds herself in jail after killing her sister and husband, when she finds them in bed together. Both girls embark on an adventure for fame, the murderous type of fame. With both murderesses fighting for the spotlight, Chicago becomes the battlefield between two rivals who will go to whatever lengths it takes to be famous.
Hearing that this will be the musical at DHS this year brings to me a mix of emotions. On one hand, the play is going to drive more students to attend due to the theme being more mature. Meaning that the humor in it is targeting the adult audience, not necessarily the teenage population. Hence, driving the amount of money entering the school for the arts up. Unfortunately, there is a downside to the play. Many younger kids, who are coming to cheer on their siblings, will also be a portion of the audience in the theatre. The humor and language in the show may be inappropriate for those attendees. However, kids may be less likely to understand that content of the play, because they are so young and many of the jokes might go over their heads.
I guess Trina Vega may not have read the true script of Chicago, because, like many Nickelodeon viewers, I was duped into believing that Chicago was a play for children.