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NORTHFIELD, Vt. — Pegasus Players, Norwich University’s theater club, will present “Chicago” at 7:30 p.m. March 17, 18 and 19 in Mack Hall auditorium.

This performance is free and open to the public.

In roaring 1920s Chicago, chorine Roxie Hart murders a faithless lover and convinces her hapless husband, Amos, to take the rap ... until he finds out he's been duped and turns on Roxie. Convicted and sent to death row, Roxie and another “Merry Murderess,” Velma Kelly, vie for the spotlight and the headlines, ultimately joining forces in search of the “American Dream”: fame, fortune, and acquittal.

“(‘Chicago’) is a burlesque in the original sense of the word: over the top, absurd, and exaggerated. Actors can wink to the audience and make sure we are all in on the joke.” Jeffry Casey, adviser, Pegasus Players

Chicago, featuring music by John Kander with lyrics by Fred Ebb, debuted on Broadway June 3, 1975, at the 46th Street Theatre in New York City. The production, directed and choreographed by Bob Fosse, ran for 936 performances.

On Nov 14, 1996, a revival of the show opened on Broadway at the Richard Rodgers Theatre, featuring Bebe Neuwirth and Ann Reinking in the opening cast. The show later transferred to Shubert Theatre, and then to the Ambassador Theatre, where, more than two decades later, it continues to run, logging nearly 10,000 performances.

Assistant Professor of Theater Jeffry Casey, the Pegasus Players’ adviser, said this is the largest play the Pegasus Players has produced in his five years at Norwich, with more than 40 people involved, including actors, designers, musicians, technical crews and stagehands.

Kenny Grenier, in his first year working with the Pegasus Players, is musical director. Carli Roberts, who graduated from Norwich last year, is choreographer and assistant director.

‘Cookie full of arsenic'

“‘Chicago’ is a real challenge,” Casey said. “It’s relentless music and dancing for two hours. It demands a lot from the actors, who must act, sing, and dance at the same time. Musicals are athletic enterprises.

“‘Chicago’ is, to quote one of my favorite movies, a ‘cookie full of arsenic.’ It's tawdry fun but acerbic, bitter. There's only one character whom I really sympathize with. The rest, including all of the leads, are pretty lousy people. But the play is a burlesque in the original sense of the word: over the top, absurd, and exaggerated. Actors can wink to the audience and make sure we are all in on the joke.”

Mack Hall Auditorium, completed in 2018, is a 400-seat performing arts center and home to the Pegasus Players, Norwich University’s oldest continuously operating student organization. The troupe typically produces two performances a year, which rotate between musicals, comedies and serious dramas and classics.

The Pegasus Players also produce student play festivals featuring original works written and directed by students and Norwich Voices for International Women's Day, a spoken-word event about women's issues on campus and around the world.

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About Norwich University
Norwich University is a diversified academic institution that educates traditional-age students and adults in a Corps of Cadets and as civilians. Norwich offers a broad selection of traditional and distance-learning programs culminating in Baccalaureate and Graduate Degrees. Norwich University was founded in 1819 by Captain Alden Partridge of the U.S. Army and is the oldest private military college in the United States. Norwich is one of our nation's six senior military colleges and the birthplace of the Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC). www.norwich.edu

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