“Chicago” – the longest-running American musical in the history of Broadway – is coming to the stage of the Manchester Arts Center (MAC) on Friday.

The Millennium Repertory Company (MRC) will present the musical April 12-20.

Joel Longstreth, managing director of MRC, invites locals to enjoy jazz music, great dancing and have some laughs.

“Millennium Repertory Company brings the Tony-award-winning musical ‘Chicago’ to the stage,” Longstreth said. “In this satire on the celebrity criminal, accused murderers Velma Kelly and Roxie Hart and their opportunistic attorney Billy Flynn compete for fame and freedom in a corrupt 1920s Windy City.”

Danelle Afflerbaugh, director and choreographer for the production, promised all attendees a good experience.

“You don’t have to go far for lots of laughs, and amazing singing and dancing,” Afflerbaugh said. “Be ready to be mesmerized by this great cast. I’m excited to bring something new to the area.”


The actors

The cast includes Hope Petty, Jd Dill, Buffy Davis, Rick Ruiz, Becky Spangler, Laurie Burger, April Glosson-Smith, Janette King, Amanda NJ Wright, Stevia Morawski and Jackie Connelly.

Connelly is looking forward to being on stage and performing for the audience. While the musical is very entertaining, she did note it’s not for everyone.

“This show isn’t for the easily offended,” Connelly said.

The themes, including murder and sex, are not appropriate for young viewers, said Connelly.

“One of the main messages [of the story] may be that corruption pays – it’s pretty cynical really,” Connelly said.

She has enjoyed preparing for the show.

“I don’t have a big part – I’m one of the six murderesses in the song ‘Cell Block Tango,’” she said. “I play a woman who [gets] so fed up with her boyfriend popping his gum, she shoots him.”

Rehearsing has been exciting, she said.

“My favorite part about preparing for the show was the dancing,” Connelly said. “It’s such a fun form of exercise, and this type of dancing is nothing like I’ve done in the past.

“The dancing is different because it’s very nuanced. You can’t just do a move, you have to hold your body a certain way when you do it or it’s not right.”

Connelly encouraged locals to visit the arts center and enjoy the musical.

“People should see the show for the music and the dancing,” she said. “Danelle [Afflerbaugh] has done an amazing job with the choreography.”


About the musical

“Chicago” features music by John Kander and lyrics by Fred Ebb. The book by Ebb and Bob Fosse was inspired by a 1926 play written by Maurine Dallas Watkins.

The story is based on two 1924 court cases involving two women, who were both suspected and later acquitted for murder. Watkins had covered the cases for the Chicago Tribune as a reporter.

The original Broadway production opened in 1975.


The show at the MAC

“Chicago” includes adult themes and language and is not recommended for pre-teens.

MAC will present the show April 12-20.

Performances begin at 7:30 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays and at 2 p.m. on Sundays.

The MAC is located at 128 E. Main St. in Manchester.

Tickets cost $15 for adults, $13 for seniors and members of the military and $10 for students.

Tickets are available online at millenniumrep.org and or by calling 931-570-4489.


Other shows coming to the MAC

Locals will have a chance to see “The Lion King Jr.,” presented by Wee Actors Guild,   May 10-19.

“Newsies,” a production of the Teen Actors Guild, is coming the MAC’s stage    Aug.  2-11.

“Much Ado About Nothing” will be presented     Sept. 6-15.

“A Streetcar Named Desire” is coming to the stage of MAC   Oct. 4-13.

Locals are invited to enjoy “My Fair Lady”        Nov. 15-24.

Elena Cawley may be reached via email at ecawley@tullahomanews.com