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Dan River Region to Receive the Old "Razzle Dazzle" Treatment

October 15, 2012

Averett's theatre and music departments will "give 'em an act with lots of flash in it and the reaction will be passionate" as they "Razzle Dazzle" the region with its performance of "Chicago" Nov. 1-3 at 7:30 p.m. and Nov. 4 at 2:30 p.m. in Pritchett Auditorium.

The departments have been working to build the musical theatre program at the University, and according to Theatre Professor Jackie Finney, this production will allow the students to show off what they've been learning and doing vocally and in dance. The dance portion of the production is being choreographed by artist in residence Brad Bass, a native of Pittsylvania County.

A satire on the corruption in the criminal justice system and the concept of the "celebrity criminal," the musical is set in Prohibition-era Chicago. "Chicago" is based on a play of the same name written by a reporter for the Chicago-Tribune – Maurine Dallas Watkins. Watkins wrote the play following her coverage of the trials of two murderesses in 1924. The play, which received popular and critical acclaim, made it to Broadway in 1926 and ran for 172 performances.

"Chicago: A Musical Vaudeville" opened on Broadway in June 1975 and ran for 936 performances. The 1996 revival holds the record for the longest-running musical revival on Broadway and is its fourth longest running show. Several movies have been made based on the musical including Rob Marshall's 2002 Academy Award winning film starring Richard Gere, Catherine Zeta-Jones and Renée Zellweger.

The 1996 Broadway revival won several Tony Awards in 1997 including Best Revival of a Musical and Best Choreography.

Tickets for the production, which are $9 for adults and $7 for students/senior citizens, may be purchased in advance or on the night of the performance. For more information, call 434-791-5712.