Gunnedah Conservatorium is preparing for a sold out season of its Chicago musical

Chicago scene: Gunnedah performers in a routine from the glitzy production about to open at the Civic Theatre. Photo: Marie Low
Chicago scene: Gunnedah performers in a routine from the glitzy production about to open at the Civic Theatre. Photo: Marie Low

THE stage of Gunnedah’s Civic Theatre is set to come alive on Friday for the opening night of Gunnedah Conservatorium’s Chicago musical.

Over the next two weekends, an ensemble of 20 local actors and actresses will take the audience back in time to the roaring 1920s in Chicago USA during seven sold-out shows.

Gunnedah Conservatorium director Rebecca Ryan told The Namoi Valley Independent the show is the result of several months of rehearsals.

“All of the shows are sold out which is very pleasing and very exciting,” Ms Ryan said.

“The idea to do Chicago came from the conservatorium’s own Lani Christie who will direct the show, who after the 2017 dance eisteddfod believed there would be enough talented dancers in our community to put on such a show.

“We knew that the viability of the show given how complex and full on it is, would depend on the audition weekend and luckily we had a great response in auditions and we began rehearsals late last year and resumed again in February.” Ms Ryan said the show would have a lot of familiar and popular musical numbers.

“So it’s a musical based on a play set in the roaring 20’s and is about vying for the spotlight,” he said.

“I think the audience will know a lot of the songs and probably get really into it, there will be a lot of razzle dazzle though for sure.”

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Crew members were hard at work over the last weekend preparing the stage for the upcoming shows.

“All of the cast and crew are volunteers, we have had great support throughout the preparations,” Ms Ryan said.

“There was a lot of hard work bumping in the set into the Civic Theatre last weekend and honestly the support we have had from so many in regards to creating the set has been amazing, from construction, to welding, to helping bring it in we have been very well supported.”

Ms Ryan encouraged anyone with tickets who cannot make the show to return them to the conservatorium so they could be on-sold.

“Being sold out and having a wait list is not something we expected but it’s probably a good problem to have,” she said.

“When we close we close unfortunately, so for that reason if there is anyone out there who has a ticket but can’t attend could they please return their ticket to us so we can on-sell them and give as many people a chance to see the performance as possible as demand is set to be quite high.” 

Chicago will run at the Civic Theatre from May 18 to May 26.