Riverside Secondary drama teacher, Ms. Nicole Roberge and her musical theatre classes have chosen Chicago for the Spring Musical!
When deciding which musical to choose, Roberge wasn’t afraid of letting the class know her first choice was Chicago. “I’ve done this musical once before; it was a very memorable experience, and it has been 15 years since it was done when I worked at Pinetree back in 2005. And for some reason, nobody in the school district has touched it since; the district has not seen another Chicago, so I want to bring it back,” said Roberge.
Chicago is a musical crime comedy–drama that explores the themes of corruption and celebrity scandals during Prohibition and the Jazz Age. Corruption and celebrity scandals are still a part of our society today.
Roberge wanted to draw parallels with how life is today with how it was then. “Imagine how the media would play out if something like Chicago happened in modern times, with the technology out there. That’s why there were media bans; the media plays a huge role in shaping how we think,” said Roberge.
The dancing, singing and music also played a huge role in choosing this musical. “I had to look for the perfect people to fit into the musical, and this year’s class had it all,” said Roberge.
Casting can be a difficult and stressful part of the making of a musical because inevitably some students will be disappointed. There are two classes of Musical Theater co-taught by Roberge and the new music teacher, Ms. Laine Spicer; the production requires many people and Roberge is drawing from both classes to fill the roles; the main roles are double-casted, however. Roberge hopes to make everyone feel welcomed and involved in the production; for example, every person is given a name as a character even they are a back-up performer.
“I savor the chance to offer kids a place, a space and an experience that will be memorable and positive for them, and maybe if a kid has a big smile on their face and is satisfied at the end of the year for being a part of the production, then I’ve done my job and I’m happy,” said Roberge.
Dates for the Chicago Musical are set for February 20, 21, 22, 26, 27, 28. Showtimes start at 7:30pm. Get your tickets when they go on sale and support your school Musical theater group.