The Circus Comes to Jenkintown’s CHICAGO

by Patricia Bradford

Jenkintown Music Theatre is excited to present its 2018 Production, CHICAGO the Musical. Set in the roaring, jazz-hot 20s, Chicago explores themes of celebrity, corruption and scandal as it tells the story of rival murderesses and Cook County Jail inmates Velma Kelly and Roxie Hart.

JMT Director Deb Schrager is back for her 3rd show with JMT and is thrilled with the caliber of talent that JMT has assembled. “CHICAGO is a bucket list show for so many in the local theater community and JMT is one of the first in the area to get the rights. We were overwhelmed with the talent of the over 80 singers, actors and dancers who auditioned for us!” Even more exciting is the fact that Schrager and her Creative team present a Chicago that promises to be different from other productions of this award-winning musical that you may have seen. JMT’s vision introduces Chicago within the framework of…the circus!

Typically, CHICAGO presents as a vaudeville show, so the idea of an audience coming to see a show within a show lends itself well to the circus them. To help bring their vision to life, Schrager and team reached out to the Philadelphia School of Circus Arts. When JMT first approached Shana Kennedy from PSCA, she and her team were on board for the partnership from the start. As Kennedy explains it, PSCA is eager to partner with local theater groups to help incorporate circus arts into mainstream productions. JMT and PSCA worked together to arrange cast visits to PSCA where the cast was introduced to circus skills. Additionally, individual choreography sessions were scheduled for two performers to learn silk-routines for the show. Lisa Starke, who plays Roxie Hart, performs her solo, “Funny Honey’ on a silk loop hung from the ceiling and JMT is pretty sure that this is a first. The number, which is the second song in the musical, is a show stopper and lets the audience know early on that they are in for something special.

Other tie-ins to the circus can be found in Amos Hart’s (Mr. Cellophane) portrayal as a sad clown, slick lawyer Billy Flynn as the Ring Leader and Matron “Mama” Morton as the Lion Tamer. Of course, there’s also the notion that the characters’ manipulation of the media causes a “media circus” and the whole idea of fake news vs reality takes center stage. Cindy Paul, long-time JMT choreographer, is delighted to be choreographing her dream show and loved the challenge of the unique staging approach. She stays true to the incomparable Fosse style and the result is certain to “razzle dazzle” you from start to finish. Producer Jennifer Corsanico Berger is thrilled with the artistic collaboration Deb, her team, and PSCA have taken in staging this beloved American Musical, “Producing this show has been an amazing experience. Bringing Deb’s vision for this innovative and exciting approach to Chicago has been challenging and rewarding and we can’t wait for audiences to see it. ”

Tickets can be purchased by visiting or calling 215-478-6546.

Jenkintown Music Theatre is a non-profit group and is proud to support the Arts Programs of Jenkintown School District.

Performance Dates:
Friday April 13th 8:00 PM
Saturday April 14th 8:00 PM
Sunday April 15th 3:00 PM
Friday April 20th 8:00 PM
Saturday April 21st 2:00
Sunday April 21st 8:00 PM

For more information please contact Jennifer Corsanico Berger

Theater/Organization Jenkintown Music Theatre
Theater/Organization Website:

Theater/Organization Address: 285 West Avenue Jenkintown, Pennsylvania 19046 (Map It)
Theater/Organization Phone: (267) 240-9289

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