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Tuesday, 13 July 2010 18:37

HART leads the pack with “Chicago” production

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The Haywood Arts Regional Theatre is pulling the stops out for its production of the smash hit “Chicago,” which opened July 9.

“Chicago The Musical” has become the longest-running revival in Broadway history, with more than 5,600 performances, along with inspiring an Academy Award-winning film.

The usual rule of thumb is that if a show is running in New York, the rights are restricted and no other theatre can produce it. Because of “Chicago’s” extraordinarily long run the rights have been released, and HART is one of the first theatres to be granted permission to do the show.

The musical is based on a play of the same name by reporter Maurine Dallas Watkins, who had been assigned to cover the 1924 trials of murderesses Beulah Annan and Belva Gaertner for the Chicago Tribune.

Annan, the model for the character of Roxie Hart, was 23 when she was accused of the April 3, 1924 murder of Harry Kalstedt. The Tribune reported that Annan played the foxtrot record “Hula Lou” over and over for two hours before calling her husband to say she killed a man who “tried to make love to her.” She was found “not guilty” on May 25, 1924.

Velma is based on Gaertner, who was a cabaret singer. The body of Walter Law was discovered slumped over the steering wheel of Gaertner’s abandoned car on March 12, 1924. Two police officers testified that they had seen a woman getting into the car and shortly thereafter heard gunshots.

Julie Kinte, who rocked the stage as Sally Bowles in “Cabaret,” returns as Velma Kelly, and Candice Dickenson, who blew everyone away last summer as Ulla in “The Producers,” is Roxie Hart. The production is being choreographed bymCord Scott and Music Director Chuck Taft will conduct the orchestra. “Chicago” is being directed by HART’s Executive Director Steve Lloyd.

“Chicago” will have performances at 7:30 p.m. July 9, 10 15, 16, 17, 22, 23, 24, 30, 31 and at 3 p.m. July 11, 18, 25 and Aug. 1.

$22 adult, $20 senior, $10 student/child with special $5 discount tickets for Students for Thursday and Sunday performances.

Box office hours are 1 to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday. 828.456.6322 or www.harttheatre.com for reservations.

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