"Chicago" at Brooks

"Chicago" at Brooks

Brooks Firetrail Theatre company is bringing all that jazz to campus this weekend!

Photo of the winter musical Chicago's dress rehearsal.

Last night, the winter musical “Chicago: High School Edition” opened a three-night run on the mainstage of Brooks School’s Center for the Arts, showcasing more than 30 students’ acting, singing, dancing and technical talents.

“They brought down the house, earned thunderous applause and left this head of school beaming with pride as I took it all in from the sidelines,” raved John Packard about a preview performance, before the production even hit the stage, during Brooks’ annual Boston Reception on February 2. “The group was nothing short of amazing.”

Photo of students in dress rehearsal performing the winter musical Chicago.

For all the glitz and glamour of the musical — set in “roaring twenties” Chicago about a chorus girl, murder and betrayal — a huge amount of rolling-up-your-sleeves work went on behind the scenes to bring this showstopper to life. A dozen members of the crew and designers “spent hours constructing the scoop wall and more than two weeks perfecting the dynamic light cues that frame the performers and highlight the musical shifts,” revealed Director of Theater Meghan Hill. “From a technical standpoint, the lighting in this production really stands out.”

Photo of students in dress rehearsal performing the winter musical Chicago.

See an album of photos from the dress rehearsal, plus promotional materials including headshots taken by student photographer Jalyn Colon '24.

The action on stage wasn’t any easier to perfect — though it offered huge growth opportunities for each of the 19 actors. “They've been learning about theatre history as they take part in the longest-running musical in American musical theatre history and engage in the iconic choreography of Bob Fosse,” said Hill.

Photo of a promotional poster for the winter musical Chicago.

The production team (who also created promotional posters for the show) put together an educational packet providing background information about the show and suggested classroom activities to help audiences understand the material. Hill shared the resource with Brooks faculty and students prior to the premiere.

Photo of the cast and crew wall in the Center for the Arts.

“This cast never backed down from a challenge,” Hill explained. “During the first rehearsal, more than 50 percent of them shared their fears about tackling the choreography as non-dancers.”

Photo of students in dress rehearsal performing the winter musical Chicago.

Six weeks later? “They're taking the stage with new skills and increased confidence,” she said.

“I also think it's important to acknowledge the crew,” she added. “They collaborated with one another to run all the technical aspects of the production including spotlights, the light and sound boards, costume changes, props, stage management. . .  The list goes on. Without them, there is no magic.”

Get your free tickets for the 7:30 p.m. shows, on stage February 23-25, via Eventbrite.

Photo of winter musical Chicago promotional poster.