All that jazz: Parksville high school students gear up for ‘Chicago: High School Edition’

Ballenas Secondary performers stage slightly toned-down version of popular show

Rehearsals for Chicago: High School Edition are in full swing at the Ballenas Secondary Whalebone Theatre.

Director Doug Campbell moves around the theatre as the students rehearse, watching the stage from several different angles.

“Yeah you guys, that looks awesome. Way to go!” says Campbell, as the students finish up a rousing version of popular tune All That Jazz.

More than 30 students in Grades 8 to 12 have been getting together twice weekly since September to rehearse for the show, which opens Feb. 19.

READ MORE: They’re off to see the wizard at Parksville school

“I’m really excited for an audience to see this. We’ve spent a lot of money on costumes as you can see, and a ton of time choreographing these dances so they look authentic to the time period, to the Bob Fosse interpretation of the show,” said Campbell. “I’m really excited for people to see this real-deal ‘Chicago’ going on here.”

Ballenas is putting on the high school edition of Chicago, which means that the more risque parts have been edited out to be more tasteful for the younger audience.

However, Campbell cautions that the end result probably still warrants a PG-13 rating. The play is, after all, about female vaudeville performers who commit murder.

Campbell says that rehearsals have been going very well so far.

He’s proud of the students and looking forward to audiences seeing them in action.

READ MORE: Working with intuition and a critical eye: Parksville painter’s work on display

“The dedication these kids has been incredible. I really haven’t had to challenge them or push them much, they’ve done it themselves, which is pretty awesome,” said Campbell.

“It’s been fun to teach the kids the language, all the vocabulary from that time period, what kind of music jazz was. They’ve really responded to it. They’re liking it.”

Lead character Roxy Hart is played by Allison Poole, who was Dorothy in last year’s production of Wizard of Oz.

“If you know her voice, it’s fantastic,” said Campbell.

He’s also excited for the theatrical debut of George Perkins.

“I think he’s really going to blow people away,” said Campbell.

There’s a surprise in store for audiences as to who’s been cast as Matron ‘Mama’ Morton.

The show opens on Wednesday, Feb. 19 and runs the 20, 21, 26, 27 and 28.

Tickets are $10 at the door, or can be purchased online at www.sd69.bc.ca/school/BSS. All showtimes start at 7 p.m. sharp.

emily.vance@pqbnews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter 

Arts and cultureArts and EntertainmentLive theatreParksvilleTheatre

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

PQBeat: The Old School House Arts Centre executive director Illana Hester

Listen: Podcast talk includes changes at TOSH, long-term view of local arts scene

Superintendent Keven Elder talks to PQB business community about school system

‘I want to thank you for what you do for kids in our community’

‘Soft Shore’ public art installation at Parksville city hall more expensive than planned

Plans to install centerpiece from MAC summer show hits roadblocks

Water flushing in Parksville runs until April

Residents can expect water discolouration

Open house set for Feb. 20 to discuss planned cell tower in Qualicum Beach

Concerned resident has started petition in opposition

WATCH: Man creates intricate replicas of Parksville-area buildings

Historic models currently on display at community centre

New highway proposed between Alberta and B.C.

The route would connect Red Deer to Kamloops

Wet’suwet’en and B.C. government have been talking Aboriginal title for a year

Coastal GasLink says it has agreements with all 20 elected First Nations councils along the 670-kilometre route

Trudeau tightlipped on plan to end protests ‘quickly and peacefully’

The prime minister, who cancelled a two-day trip to Barbados this week to deal with the crisis at home

B.C. budget expected to stay the course as economic growth moderates

Finance minister said ICBC costs have affected budget

Canadian standards for coronavirus protection to be reviewed, health agency says

The protocols set out how health workers should protect themselves and their patients

Monday marks one-year anniversary of man missing from Langley

42-year-old B.C. man, Searl Smith, was last seen leaving Langley Memorial Hospital on Feb. 17, 2019

BC Ferries sailings filling up Family Day Monday

More than 20 sailings added between Swartz Bay and Tsawwassen for long weekend

Amtrak warns of delays as railways from Seattle to B.C. blocked by Wet’suwet’en supporters

Coastal GasLink said it’s signed benefits agreements with all 20 elected band councils along pipeline route

Most Read