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Presenting 'Chicago' at Galvin

March 2013


Nearly 50 people auditioned for the next St. Ambrose mainstage production, Chicago. The actors' preparation for their auditions was, "for the most part, exceptional," according to director Corinne Johnson, PhD.

Actors were judged on singing, acting of a song, and dancing. After much deliberation, producers Johnson; musical director Keith Haan, PhD; stage manager and senior Sidney Junk; and choreographer Shellee Frazee '00 said they were thrilled with their chosen cast.

The cast list is as follows:
Velma Kelly....................................................................Stephanie Seward
Roxie Hart.....................................................................Kelsey Francis
Fred Casely/ensemble.....................................................Derek Dixon
Sergeant Fogarty/Jury.................................................Jonathan Smith
Amos Hart........................................................................J.J. Johnson
Liz/ensemble.........................................................Amanda Kochanny
Annie/ensemble..........................................................Valerie Zawada
June/ensemble............................................................Brooke Schelly
Hunyak/ensemble.........................................................Bailey Burgart
Mona/ensemble..............................................................Stacy Phipps
Murderess/Ensemble.....................................................Becca Brazel
Matron "Mama " Morton...............................................Mel Morales
Billy Flynn..................................................................Tim Stompanato
Mary Sunshine/ensemble..............................................Kyle DeFauw
Go-to-Hell Kitty/ensemble/Murderess.....................Shannon Rourke
Harry/ ensemble....................................................Michael Alexander
Aaron (Hunyak's Lawyer)/ensemble...........................Nicholas Vlasin
The Judge/ensemble......................................................Austin Eiben
Court Clerk/ensemble/Murderess ................................Cami Sackett
EMCEE/ensemble....................................................Jordan McGinnis
Bailiff/ensemble...........................................................Vincente Solis
Martin Harrison/ensemble...............................................Dan Conlin

Chicago is the story of seductive nightclub dancer, Roxie Hart, who finds that the road to fame can be a trail of sinister plots. It is one of few St. Ambrose shows that concentrates so much on dancing. Rehearsals already are underway and very productive.

Dianne Dye, costume designer, has her usual jump on finding costumes for the show. Costumes are a mix of little black items with both a ‘20s and contemporary feel to them. Dye said she's having a great time finding these different pieces.

There are two guest designers working on this show. Jeff Peltz of The University of Central Missouri will be doing the light design for Chicago. According to his department website, Peltz has a broad professional history that includes work on more than 140 productions. He has served as a scenic designer, lighting designer, projection designer, technical director, production/stage manager, instructor or consultant for such producing organizations as KCPA Summerfest, Indiana University Northwest, Illinois Dance Theatre, Randolph-Macon Woman's College, and many others.

His other productions include All Under Heaven (with Valerie Harper), Good Little Girls, Ain't Gonna' Let Nobody Turn Me ‘Round, Two Deaths, The All New 1919 Ziegfeld Follies, among others. St. Ambrose is thrilled to have him on the production team.

Shellee Frazee is the other guest member of the production team as choreographer. Frazee is the Artistic Director of Theatre and Dance at the Beverly Arts Center in Chicago where she also teaches.

Frazee earned her bachelor's in theatre from St. Ambrose University in 2000. Afterward, she opened the Center Stage Performing Arts Academy in the Quad Cities and also was its artistic director, and dance and theatre teacher. Frazee has performed, toured, directed and choreographed professionally for many years, as well as receiving an accolade by the Kennedy Center for her choreography of Urinetown, produced at St. Ambrose University.

In addition to her work at the Beverly Arts Center, Frazee is an SAU theatre department adjunct teacher, teaching Movement for Actors and dance classes.

Some of her favorite productions include West Side Story, Crazy for You, Schoolhouse Rock Live, Fame, Sweeney Todd, Godspell, Urinetown, Pippin, and A Chorus Line.

Chicago will be performed April 19-21. Tickets are available by calling the Galvin box office at 563-333-6251 or buy them online.

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