This couple rehearses recently for the musical “Chicago” by the Rainbow Players ensemble, which features actors from Liberal and the surrounding communities. Chicago will be performed at 8 p.m. Thursday, Friday and Saturday. It will be perfomed in the Showcase Theatre at Seward County Community College/Area Technical School. Tickets are on sale for $10 each at United Wireless, Spencer Browne’s or First National Bank. The musical is intended for mature audiences due to language and adult scenes, but all ages are welcome to attend. For more information, visit www.rainbowplayers.com. L&T photo/Chris Linenbroker
By EARL WATT
• Leader & Times
The prohibition era will return to Liberal later this week, but it is for a limited engagement only.
The play “Chicago” will take to the stage at 8 p.m. Thursday, Friday and Saturday at the SCCC Showcase Theater.
The play centers around two women who have been accused of serious crimes, and how they use their celebrity status to start a Vaudeville act.
The play is set in the 1920s when a number of criminals like Al Capone and “Ma” Barker became national sensations.
“It was the flapper era,” director Gloria Goodwin said. “Women are feeling their spirited rebellion, and during that era, there were a number of high profile murder cases involving women. They took a couple of those and fabled them up and built the characters of Velma and Roxy, their murder cases, how they are famous for being famous, and how they try to leverage the system to get their own Vaudeville act. They use a lawyer named Billy Flynn, who also uses the system to his own benefit, and use their notorious status to become what they wanted to be. Musically it is exciting, it is funny, it has dancing. It is a really fun show.”
To pull off the Tony Award-winning production, the Showcase Theater had to be modified. The pit was covered to provide more stage space and allow the action to reach closer to the audience, and the band was incorporated into the show and brought on-stage.
“We are in a jazz nightclub,” Goodwin said. “You have the band right on stage, and that is exactly what we are doing. They are part of the show. They interact with the actors.”
Rainbow Players found a concoction of personalities to bring to the stage, some very familiar and some new to the stage.
Jamie Nix will be performing her first major role on stage when she portrays Roxy.
Alison Bridget Chambers, a seasoned veteran of the stage and director of some of the more ambitious plays at Seward County Community College/Area Technical School, will be performing her last show before moving to Wichita to participate in the traveling Children’s Theater, will bring life to Velma.
Michael Ask, who has worked in recent productions including “Guys and Dolls” and “Assassins” will fill the role of lawyer Billy Flynn.
Other familiar faces from the drama department at SCCC/ATS, Liberal High School and the Rainbow Players will also join in under the guidance of Goodwin, who most recently directed “Les Miserables” at LHS.
Goodwin has been involved with the stage since she was 5, and drama has been her life-long passion.
She plans to share that passion with the community this week with “Chicago.”
Tickets are $10 and can be purchased at United Wireless, First National Bank or Spencer Browne’s. They can also be purchased online at rainbowplayers.com. Any remaining tickets will be available at the door.