Musical classic 'Chicago' coming to Highlander Theatre stage: Murder, sex appeal and power struggle

Written by Muleskinner Staff

By BETHANY SHERROW
Assistant News Editor
(WARRENSBURG, Mo., digitalBURG) — With a strong lead of female actresses, the musical “Chicago” will soon debut on campus.
Actress Kelsey Reinsfelder, who will play one of the lead roles as Roxie Hart, said sex appeal is what is going to draw college students to come see the show.
“I think that’s one of the most exciting things about the show – the empowerment of women,” Reinsfelder said. “It’s great to see all these bad ass women on stage.”
Reinsfelder’s on-stage nemesis, Velma Kelly, will be played by Nellie Maple.
Maple said the show was written during the rebirth of the feminist movement.
“The whole show is about strong women who are forced to commit terrible acts to get what they want,” Maple said.
In her 15 years at UCM, Julie Mollenkamp, professor of theater and director of UCM’s production of “Chicago,” said this is the first time this renowned musical will be a production on campus. And she said she’s not the only one excited about it.
Ashley Miller, associate professor of dance and chorographer of UCM’s production of “Chicago,” has apparently been waiting for this opportunity for years.
“It is her favorite show,” Mollenkamp said. “(Ashley) has wanted to do it since the day I met her seven years ago, and the time was right to do it (now).”
Mollenkamp said she is impressed with how the show is coming together.
“You’re going to laugh, you’re going to think, you’re going to have your toe-a-tapping and you’re going to reflect on American society,” Mollenkamp said.
The department of theater and dance is showing its range by shifting from a children’s play like “Gustav: The Goose Who Wouldn’t Fly” to “Chicago.”
On the department’s season flier, “Chicago” is listed as a production “for mature audiences.”
“There is some language,” Mollenkamp said. “There is murder. I think the biggest reason it’s for mature audiences is because you need a sense of understanding of what satire is to understand the themes of the show. So if you let your child watch nighttime television, you’re not going to see anything in ‘Chicago’ that you wouldn’t see there.”
Mollenkamp said everyone should come see the show, even if they’ve seen it before.
“We’re taking a real classic, and doing it justice. It sounds beautiful. It looks fantastic. It moves well, I think that there are rounded characters on stage. They’re capturing style in a unique and exciting way.”
She said it is just too much fun not to watch.
UCM’s rendition of “Chicago,” premieres at 7:30 p.m. Oct. 7 in the Highlander Theatre.