By Charles Desrochers / Staff Writer
This past weekend, CCSU put on its production of the musical, Chicago.
The musical is set in 1920’s Chicago around Roxie Hart, played by Sarah Kozlowski, who tries to reach for celebrity after she is thrust into the public eye when she kills her lover.
The cast and crew did a fantastic job putting together a professional quality show. The lighting stood out the most as it brought much variety to the set that consisted mostly of a jail cell and a few desks. Separate spaces were creatively added within the set through magnificent shading and coloring, so a tip of the hat must go to the lighting crew.
Acting was excellent and playful. All of the characters felt naturally suave and slick like they had been intended while garnering uproars and chuckles form the audience as it seamlessly weaved through the narrative.
The audio on the other hand was, overall well done, but spotty in parts. On some occasions the actor’s voices, like Ally Brown as the operatic Mary Sunshine, came in clear and were not drowned by the ensemble. During other parts it seemed like the voices were struggling to be heard from the middle of the auditorium.
In a play where everything was exceptional the audio was what fell to the floor. There were times when the trumpets seemed to drown out the vocals, but it didn’t happen quite enough as to draw attention away from the story.
The only time the crowd wasn’t fixed on William Caswell’s portrayal of the slick lawyer Billy Flynn was during the climactic court scene and all of the attention was on the jury, who were all played by Doug Oliphaunt. With all of his characters keeping the audience laughing he temporarily stole the show from the lead performers.
So, on opening night CCSU’s production was an astounding success. The quality of the play coupled with the popular story of corruption in jazz era Chicago came together wonderfully. The audience felt invited by the constant breaking of the fourth wall and once the tickets were handed out they were entranced until the very end.