After nine years, Hollins Theatre is returning to the scene of the crime with a revival of one of Broadway’s most celebrated musicals.
Hollins University’s theatre department is presenting a new production of the Tony Award-winning hit Chicago, April 12 – 15 and April 18 – 21. Tickets are $10 general admission, with one free ticket available to current Hollins students, faculty, and staff.
Director Ernie Zulia, Hollins Theatre’s artistic director and chair, believes Chicago’s tale of murder, greed, corruption, treachery, and show biz during the Roaring Twenties is more relevant to audiences than ever before. “Aside from being fantastic entertainment, the show has an even stronger resonance now because it shines such a powerful spotlight on manipulation of the media, fake news, spin, alternative facts, and a public that is hungry for the truth,” he explains. “Not that we are seeing any of that in the world today!”
Chicago also boasts strong connections to southwest Virginia. Two current Hollins students who are also residents of Roanoke play featured roles: senior Emma Sala portrays Velma Kelly, and Anna Holland, a junior, is cast as Roxie Hart. In addition, guest artist Kendall Payne, who plays Billy Flynn, is a professional actor originally from Pulaski. He is the nephew of local jazz legend William Penn.
Zulia says the show is a tribute to John Sailer, who was Hollins Theatre’s resident scenery and lighting designer for ten years and passed away suddenly in 2015.
“We have recreated his original design for Chicago, which was one of his best ever,” Zulia notes.
Featuring such hit songs as “All That Jazz” and “Razzle Dazzle,” Chicago is based on the play by Maurine Dallas Watkins. The show is not recommended for children.
For tickets and show times, visit hollins.edu/theatre or call (540) 362-6517.