Rep theatre’s razzle-dazzling production of Chicago: High School Edition cuts its run short amid COVID-19 concerns


Emily Wyrwa, Feature Editor

On March 6, 7, 8, 2020, the Scotch Plains-Fanwood Repertory Theatre performed John Kander’s classic musical Chicago for nearly sold-out houses. The cast, crew, pit and production team’s hard work shone to audiences in their impressive production. 
Director Morgan Knight presented a new take on the musical, giving new life to the beloved show. With a stellar pit orchestra, led by Mr. Trey Shore, and impressive sets and costumes, the show was a delight to audiences. 
Part of what most stood out about the production was the impressive execution of Fosse choreography. Bob Fosse pioneered a distinct style of dance that is challenging to perform, but the cast of Chicago did so seemingly effortlessly. 
“This type of dancing is so unique and different that the whole cast was not used to its style,” sophomore ensemble member Sherin Kachroo said. “Yet, with our wonderful choreographer Miss Kara Drake and our two student choreographers, we were truly able to grasp the unique moves and perform the style to the best of our abilities. 
Those involved with Repertory Theatre had been hard at work on the production for many months leading up to the opening night. Rehearsals set construction, work on the costumes and technical elements took immense dedication from all those involved. Despite the challenges of the long hours, the experience was well worth it. 
“In my three years, I feel like this was the closest cast yet,” junior and ensemble member Alexa Vierschilling said. “Although there were some rocky moments, the people make everything worth it.”
The production’s run was unfortunately cut short amid concerns over the recent outbreak of COVID-19. Luckily, Chicago was still able to perform its opening weekend of shows, but the shows originally scheduled for March 12, 13 and 14 were canceled. 
“The cast and rest of the production team were heartbroken for sure to have to see it end so abruptly,” Vierschilling said. “Everyone really loved it and put a lot of time into making it amazing.”
Rep theatre relies completely on ticket sales to raise the funds needed for each year’s productions. With the cancellation of three shows, Repertory Theatre is looking for donors to help raise funds for future productions. The team is asking for donations and can only accept mailed-in checks made payable to SPFBOE. Checks may be sent to: 
Scotch Plains-Fanwood High School Repertory Theatre 
667 Westfield Road 
Scotch Plains, NJ, 07076
attn: Jan Allen 
The Repertory Theatre department is incredibly proud of its production of Chicago. The performances brought the community together for pure joy in these trying times. 
“I just hoped that the audience walked away with a smile,” Kachroo said. “Every night when we perform, the cast does a little prayer where we hope that we can make at least one person smile and enjoy our performance. Therefore, I really hope that the audience enjoys watching Chicago nearly as much as we do performing it.”