Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

‘Chicago’ comes to the Bama Theatre

The Actor’s Charitable Theatre will be showcasing their rendition of “Chicago” this Friday through Sunday at The Bama Theatre.

Director Joey Lay said Actor’s Charitable Theatre tries to have a wide variety of productions each season, with at least one well-known musical.

“‘Chicago’ is a classic that hasn’t been done in Tuscaloosa in about 10 years,” Lay said. “It’s a great production with lots of dancing.”

The musical is set during the prohibition era of the 1920s and follows main character Roxie Hart as she seeks fame, fortune and her own vaudeville act.

Lay has worked to create a more modern version of “Chicago” by incorporating unique elements with the 1920s style.

“It’s impossible to have all 1920s costumes,” he said. “We are trying to create a nod to 1920s couture. We don’t come out in flapper dresses, but rather twenties hairstyles with a twist and sexier and more provocative costumes.”

Choreographer Alicia Lay used the 1920s influence and style of Bob Fosse, a famous American musical theatre choreographer, for inspiration in the dance numbers.

“After everyone learned the music and signing, every rehearsal after that was a dance rehearsal,” she said. “We anticipated that [“Chicago”] would be a very stylistic show, so we did an intensive workshop to learn the style before starting rehearsals.”

In addition to the complex dancing, a 20-foot runway will extend into the audience seating to allow cast members and dancers to be more interactive with the audience.

“The audience will be surprised, impressed and entertained with the attention to details in the choreography,” she said. “It will bring flavor and style to Tuscaloosa.”

Open auditions are held six to eight weeks prior to each show. “Chicago” has a cast of 28 members with a variety of students from Stillman College, Shelton State Community College, UA and local high schools.

Miller Coop, a junior majoring in telecommunication and film, will be playing the role of Fred Casley, Roxie’s lover, as well as a member of the chorus.

“I enjoy the interactions with the cast members from the community and not just UA students,” Coop said. “The performance aspects, crowd reactions and entertainment are the best parts.”

Director Joey Lay will also be performing a lead role in the play.

“There is really good camaraderie among the cast,” Joey Lay said. “I am glad I get to do it with them. It’s a different show with different content for Tuscaloosa to experience and for us to share with the audience.”

Actor’s Charitable Theatre was started in December of 2008 as a theatre company that partners with local charities to donate 33 percent of performance proceeds to the charity. The company performs six to nine shows per season and selects a different charity for each show.

Tuscaloosa’s King’s Home will be partnered with the “Chicago” performance and will have a table set up outside the theatre with additional information on the charity.

Friday’s showing will be at 7:30 p.m., Saturday’s at 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m., and Sunday’s at 2 p.m. Student tickets are $13, senior tickets are $15 and adult tickets are $17. Group rates are available for parties of 10 or more and can be bought online.

For more information or to purchase tickets, call (205) 393-2800 or visit

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