The show must go on!

Enterprise file photo — Michael Koff

Playing the press like a puppet: Billy Flynn, played by Cian Connolly, has Roxie Hart, played by Gabi Sloan, sitting on his knee as they hold a press conference alleging Roxie is a naive orphan girl in the recent production of “Chicago: Teen Edition” by the Voorheesville Dionysians.

To the Editor:

I am writing to offer my congratulations to the cast and crew of the musical “Chicago: Teen Edition,” held at Voorheesville’s high school on March 22, 23, and 26, and to thank The Altamont Enterprise and photographer Michael Koff for coming to capture images of a rehearsal performance, one of which was prominently featured on the front page of the March 21 edition. Thank you for promoting the play and recognizing the value of theater arts.

The show follows the story of female prisoners who have been arrested for murdering their lovers/husbands. With a little razzle dazzle, we see how public perception of guilt versus innocence can be changed by spinning a different tale.

The play featured incredibly talented lead singers/actors; dancers in beautifully choreographed numbers; an ensemble cast that was performing on stage throughout most of the play; a backstage crew that kept the show running; and a live orchestra, conducted by Jake Purington, the musical director for the play. Each and every one contributed to the success of this musical.

After 11 weeks of intense rehearsals, Mother Nature decided to play an early April Fool’s joke, bringing sleet, accumulating snow, and power outages to interrupt the planned performances. Friday night’s performance went off without a hitch, but Saturday morning sleet put the evening performance in question, only to get the green light, once the parking lots were cleared.

Unfortunately, the rain almost immediately changed back to sleet, then accumulating snow. School maintenance workers deserve a lot of credit for clearing the parking lots, not once, but twice that day to allow the play to proceed.

Poor travel conditions affected crowd size, but the hardy souls who ventured out gave a warm reception to the young performers. Flickering lights during the first act were a warning of the power failure that came next, requiring the show to be stopped and the building evacuated.

The weather and road conditions were great on Sunday, but the power was still off for the scheduled afternoon performance. The show was postponed until Tuesday evening, with one missing cast member, who was already in Ireland for a planned vacation.

The play’s director, Desiree Chappelle Streeter, seamlessly stepped into the role for the number “Cell Block Tango,” where her role as one of the murderesses was essential. 

During intermission, the five departing senior cast and crew members: Andrew Bein, Jasper Celentano, Cian Connolly, Kali Munro, and Calla Murphy were recognized. Their dedication, talents and hard work in support of the drama program at Voorheesville will be missed. Best wishes to them all.

The play was produced by Steve Suriano, with choreography by Ben Dunlavey, musical direction by Jake Purington, and sound design by Garrett West. The stage set, a towering platform accessed by matching staircases, was built with safety in mind by Addam Effinger and his set building crew to offer safe passage for the performers moving up and down the staircases.

Rebecca Tillou and her committee secured the props, and Kerry Connolly and I, Sharon Breisch, headed the costume committee, which led to multiple trips to local thrift shops to find 1920s flapper-era clothing. As always, Karie Jean’s Closet in Voorheesville donated many of the outfits seen on stage. Community members and Bethlehem Central’s Stage 700 helped meet our need for 27 trench coats.

Two judges from Proctor’s High School Musical Award program were in the audience Tuesday night. Now we wait for the results to see if Voorheesville receives a nomination for its fabulous production of “Chicago: Teen Edition.”

Sharon Breisch

New Scotland

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