The hit musical “Chicago” is making its Cambridge premiere next week. Play Inc Arts’ Yaebo Players will perform the musical in a version edited for high school performers on July 26, 27 and 28 at the Richard G. Hardy Performing Arts Center in the Cambridge-Isanti High School.
The musical, written by Bob Fosse, John Kander and Fred Ebb, first premiered in 1975 on Broadway and played over 900 performances. In 1997 the musical returned to Broadway and has continued to play there ever since to become the second-longest-running musical of all time and the longest-running musical written by an American writing team.
Set in the 1920s, “Chicago” is a “story of murder, greed, corruption, violence, exploitation, adultery and treachery. All the things we hold near and dear to our hearts.”
After Roxie Hart is arrested for the murder of a man, she learns that being notorious is the best publicity and the easiest way to become a celebrity. The show actually examines the public’s interest in and tendency to elevate criminals to a position of social importance in our society – a theme that was real in the 1920s, it continued when the show was written in the 1970s, and was pivotal when the show returned to Broadway at the height of the O.J. Simpson trial of the late 1990s.
Despite the cynical view it presents, “Chicago” presents fun, upbeat jazz numbers and great dances that really capture the audience.
The “High School Edition” of “Chicago” edits language and content to be more appropriate for teenage performers. The show still has a PG-13 rating, so it is not for everybody.
Play Inc’s production will run Friday, July 26, and Saturday, July 27, at 7 p.m. and Sunday, July 28, at 2 p.m.
Tickets are available at the door as well as online at www.showtix4u.com. Tickets are $10 for students and seniors and $12 for adults.
Aaron Knudsvig is director of Play Inc Arts, of Cambridge.