Chicago comes to JHHS

Dillon Hanna plays Billy Flynn in Jackson Hole High School’s production of “Chicago.”

When Principal Scott Crisp heard this could be the year musical theater returned to Jackson Hole High School, he decided to pull out all the stops.

Students from media arts and construction classes pitched in to make a steamy club set, complete with hidden jail cells and synced lighting tubes, for a scintillating production of “Chicago: High School Edition.” Culinary students baked cupcakes decorated with the Windy City for intermission snacks, and dual-immersion social studies students researched the historical context of 1920s Chicago to create a Spanish timeline for a newsletter made in collaboration with AP English students to promote the show.

“You are about to see a story of murder, greed, corruption, violence, exploitation, adultery and treachery — all those things we hold near and dear to our hearts,” the show’s prologue declares as the curtain opens.

Producer and English teacher Marcy Harton is quick to clarify that the musical “Chicago,” which is based on real events, is ultimately a satire of the corrupt legal system in 1920s Chicago.

Peformances start at 7 p.m. today, Friday and Saturday. Tickets cost $15 at the door.

Jackson’s version of “Chicago” is anchored by three towering male leads, each over 6 feet tall, who bring humor and intention to their roles of master manipulator, hapless husband and unfaithful furniture salesman.

However, it’s the robust team of leading women who steal the show time and time again. Song and dance equally compete for audience attention as the girls launch through classic Bob Fosse moves condensed and taught by visiting choreographer Benjamin Roeling.

Students were directed by Jackson Hole High School alum Golden Garnick, of the Jackson Hole Playhouse, and musically directed by Jess Camilla O’Neal.

Lucy Waldrop is the show’s student stage manager, assisted by sophomore Kaidin Dannewald on sound mixing, and theater veteran Doug Vogel on lights.

“The thing about putting on a school production like this is that it is never just one person that’s responsible for its success,” Harton said. “It takes a team: creative, cast and crew.”

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