Syosset High School students prepare for their performance of Chicago, High School Edition. (Photo courtesy Kathy Eliassof)

Syosset High School To Perform Chicago

From Thursday, March 14 to Sunday, March 17, Syosset High School will be presenting Chicago, High School Edition.
The Thursday through Friday shows will take place at 7:30 p.m. and the Sunday show will take place at 2 p.m. Adult admission is $20 and student admission is $16. Run time is one hour and 30 minutes with a 15-minute intermission.

About Chicago: High School Edition
Chicago, Illinois. The 1920s are roaring with hot jazz and cold-blooded killers. As the Overture ends, we’re introduced to Velma Kelly– a vaudevillian who shot her husband and the other half of her sister act when she caught them in an affair. Velma invites us to sample “All That Jazz” while showing us the story of chorus girl Roxie Hart’s cold-blooded murder of nightclub regular Fred Casely. Roxie convinces her husband Amos that the victim was a burglar, and he cheerfully takes the rap. Roxie expresses her appreciation in song “Funny Honey” until the police reveal to Amos that Roxie knew the burglar, and Amos decides to let her swing for herself. Roxie’s first taste of the criminal justice system is the women’s block in Cook County Jail, inhabited by Velma and other merry murderesses “Cell Block Tango.” The women’s jail is presided over by Matron “Mama” Morton whose system of mutual aid “When You’re Good To Mama” perfectly suits her clientele. She has helped Velma become the media’s top murder-of-the-week and is acting as booking agent for Velma’s big return to vaudeville (after her acquittal, naturally). Velma is not happy to see Roxie, who is stealing not only her limelight but her lawyer, Billy Flynn. Eagerly awaited by his all girl clientele, Billy sings his anthem, complete with a chorus of fan dancers to prove that “All I Care About is Love.” Billy takes Roxie’s case and re-arranges her story for consumption by sympathetic tabloid columnist Mary Sunshine. Roxie’s press conference turns into a puppetry act with Billy dictating a new version of the truth “We Both Reached For the Gun” while Roxie mouths the words. Roxie becomes the new toast of Chicago, and Velma’s headlines, trial date and career are left in the dust. Velma tries to talk Roxie into recreating the sister act “I Can’t Do It Alone” but Roxie turns her down, only to find her own headlines replaced by the latest sordid crime of passion. Separately, Roxie and Velma realize there’s no one they can count on but themselves “My Own Best Friend”, and the ever-resourceful Roxie decides that being pregnant in prison would put her back on the front page.
Back after the Entr’acte, Velma cannot believe Roxie’s continual run of luck despite Roxie’s obvious falsehoods “Me and My Baby.” A little shy on the arithmetic, Amos proudly claims paternity and still nobody notices him, “Mr. Cellophane.” Velma desperately tries to show Billy all the trick’s she’s got planned for her trial
“When Velma Takes the Stand.” Billy’s forte may be showmanship “Razzle Dazzle”, but when he passes all Velma’s ideas on to Roxie, down to the rhinestone shoe buckles. As promised, Billy gets Roxie her acquittal but, just as the verdict is given, some even more sensational crime pulls the pack of press bloodhounds away, and Roxie’s fleeting celebrity is over. Left in the dust, she pulls herself up and extols the joys of life “Nowadays.” She teams up with Velma in that sister act “Nowadays,” in which they dance their little hearts out “Hot Honey Rag” ‘til they are joined by the entire company for the grand Finale.

About Syosset High School Theatre Arts
The courses and performance opportunities offered by the Theatre Arts Program are designed to meet the needs, interests and talents of our students who are interested in theatre and dance. Although intended to introduce students to skills and techniques they will need to pursue a possible career in these disciplines, these courses present ALL students the opportunities to develop self-expression and appreciation through participation in various theatrical productions.
In addition to the experience and training provided in the classroom, students are encouraged to put theory into practice by participating in the numerous theatrical activities outside the classroom. Primarily through our co-curricular group The Association of Creative Thespians (ACT) and Troupe 3880 of The International Thespian Society (ITS), students each year have the opportunity to participate in the following either on stage or in a technical capacity:
Two main stage dramatic productions each year – a contemporary drama in the fall and a Shakespearean production in the spring.
One main stage musical each year – drawing from the combination of techniques learned in dance classes, stage design classes, music/vocal classes and acting classes the students produce on all-school musical.
One student-directed One-Act play competition- student directors choose a script, cast the show and, with some mentoring from the Theatre Arts coordinator, direct and produce a 30-minute play. These plays are then adjudicated by a panel of judges and awarded a prize for best play.
Two self-directed showcases- at the end of each semester students are encouraged to choose (or write their own) pieces to present before an invited audience. These pieces allow students to stretch themselves in directions of their own interest and showcase their individual talents.
Up to three student directed productions each year- working with the Theatre Arts coordinator students choose a script, edit it to a 70-minute time frame, cast the show, direct and produce a show which is presented in our Little Theater to an invited audience. These opportunities are designed to give them experience directing a full length play or musical from concept to completion.
Various independent study projects are available for students to pursue in areas of the Theatre Arts which are not offered as general courses in the curriculum. These include costume design and construction, theatre arts management, directing, choreography, lighting/sound design, dramaturgy, and playwriting.
—Information provided by Syosset Central School District

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