I’m called for what?

To avoid anymore confusion, here’s a list of all the characters called for each number in Chicago. This should clear some things up!



Please be familiar with your ensemble number for Chicago

You may know your character’s name, but often times the script will also call you by your ensemble number. Which has run us into some issues today. So here is the list of the numbers for each assigned character.


Happy Sunday! I hope everyone is enjoying this lovely day. Remember, if you see that we are doing a number, and that number has dialogue in it that may involve your character, we are probably doing more than just the music. In fact, I can guarantee that we are doing, or attempting to do, the scene that goes in and out of that song. Although it seems like we have a lot of time, we really don’t. And every moment is precious. If you were ever unclear about whether or not you are needed, you should probably come anyway. But if you do have a question, contact Mr. McCray directly.


This Sunday is updated!

Sorry about the last-minute nature. We just had to re-coordinate based on a conflict.

Thank you for being flexible!

1-2 I know a girl.
2-3 Chicago after midnight
3-4 can’t do it alone.


Next Week!

Sunday. 1-4pm: Funny Honey; Chicago After Midnight; I Know a Girl

Monday. 4-6pm: General Review. Blocking plus ensemble numbers.

Tuesday. 4-630pm: All That Jazz

Wednesday. 4-6:30pm: Roxie

Thursday. 4-4:30pm: Review with Whitney.
4:30-6pm: Review with music with Ms. Johnson and Ms. Helbig.

Sunday (Sep 24). 1-2:30pm: Reached for the gun.
2:30-3pm Murderesses
3-4pm Can’t Do It Alone


Sunday 1-4.

Review all choreography

ATJ, cell block, cellophane, mamma, class, I know a girl, nowadays, hot honey rag

Monday 4-6

Full cast. Review.

Tuesday 4-630

4 overture. Featured dancers.

Add John at 430.

Add Velma 5. Add 4 boys.

Ben. Soto boy(they should know which one)

At 530. Damon, Peyton.

Do not need roxy.


4-445 review tuesday choreography with all inc roxy.

445-6 all to finish staging ATJ.

Thursday 4-6

Full cast. Continue Tuesday’s review.

sun 17 1-4. Choreography TBA

Although you may not be called, please leave this day OPEN in case you are.

Historical background on CHICAGO

You may find this historical background information on CHICAGO interesting.

The Real Women of “Murderess Row” and the Woman Who Told Their Story
SPOTLight Staff October 1, 2014 Uncategorized

Part of the appeal of Chicago – the longest-running American musical in Broadway history – is that although the events unfolding on stage occurred almost 100 years ago, they feel current. Audiences feel as if they’re watching an episode of Law & Order, with sensational characters, gripping plotlines, and crimes ripped from the headlines.

That’s because they were.

In 1924, 28-year-old Maurine Dallas Watkins arrived in Chicago, a city quickly becoming a mecca for crime, liquor, and jazz. Watkins was an aspiring writer and playwright from Harvard University, and news writing was recommended as a way for writers to hone their craft and gain exposure to a broad range of human experiences.

Watkins hit the gold mine at The Chicago Tribune, where she was assigned the Cook County Jail’s infamous “Murderess Row,” a beat editors thought too boring for men reporters. It was on Murderess Row that Watkins met, covered, and was ultimately troubled by Belva Gaertner and Beulah Annan, women she would later immortalize as Velma Kelly and Roxie Hart.

If Chicago were a person, she’d be Belva Gaertner.

Belva Gaertner sitting at a table and looking at her defense attorney, Thomas D. Nash. (c) Chicago History Museum.
A cabaret singer and society divorcee, Belva Gaertner climbed her way into high society. Between divorces from William Gaertner, a man 20 years her senior, she was arrested in March 1924 at the age of 40 for the murder of her 30-year-old lover.

Walter Law was found shot dead in his car after a night on the town with Gaertner. Found in her apartment with blood-stained clothes and admitting she found Law dead, Gaertner was arrested. Her best defense was that she didn’t remember what happened. Blaming it on jazz and drink, she played the card of the fallen woman. She used class, charm, and high fashion to turn her image around, and the press and all-male jury ate it up.

Gaertner was acquitted after almost four months on Murderess Row. After her trial, she again married William Gaertner. They separated a year later (after he accused her of trying to kill him), and she lived out her life traveling and living with her sister before dying at the age of 80.

Famous for being famous.

Beulah Annan and her husband Al sitting with William Scott Stewart. (c) Chicago History Museum.
If Gaertner was the classiest murderess in Chicago, Beulah Annan was the prettiest. Annan was 25 years old and married to her second husband when she was arrested in April 1924 for the murder of her lover and boss, Harry Kalstedt.

For a little under two months, Annan, who was born in nearby Owensboro, KY, used her Southern charms to manipulate those involved in the case. Every interview and picture was an opportunity to play out her sob story in the public eye. She even faked a pregnancy to gain sympathy.

Despite being found with the body and confessing immediately afterwards, Annan altered her story several times and ultimately settled on a story of self-defense. After a celebrity circus with “sold-out” courtroom seating, Annan was acquitted on May 24, 1924.

Afterwards, Annan turned her divorce from her husband, who stood by her the entire trial, into a photo op. However, her chances at fame were cut short. She died at the age of 29 of tuberculosis.

Watkins’ coverage of these trials and those of several other women on Murderess Row were widely read. The Chicago Tribune was one of several competing newspapers that covered the Cook County Jail. Others took a sentimental approach, but Watkins’ reporting was both sensational and satirical. It was clear from Watkins’ coverage that she believed many of the women were guilty and they had gamed the system.

American comedy is born.

After only seven months in Chicago, Watkins moved to Yale University to finish her academic career. She channeled all her cynicism and disenchantment into a play titled The Brave Little Women. The play was ultimately performed – to rave reviews – under the name Chicago. Roxie Hart and Velma Kelly were born. Annan’s lawyers, William Scott Stewart and W.W. O’Brien, merged into the smooth-talking lawyer, Billy Flynn.

Chicago opened on Broadway in 1926 and toured for two years. It was made into a silent movie in 1927, and in 1942 it became a movie called Roxie Hart, starring Ginger Rogers. Bob Fosse sought the rights to the play but Watkins refused. After her death in 1969, Fosse bought the rights from her estate and worked with John Kander and Fred Ebb to create Chicago: A Musical Vaudeville, opening on Broadway in 1975. The 1996 revival of Chicago is the longest-running American musical in Broadway history, and next month it will pass Cats to become the second longest-running musical of all time (The Phantom of the Opera holds first place).

Watkins’ story was a true original and what some say exemplified a new American style of comedy. Shocking, hilarious, and exploitative, Chicago remains, almost 100 years later, a uniquely American story of celebrity, satire, and cynicism.

Rehearsal after Labor Day….

Tuesday, September 5 – 4:00 – 4:30 – Cell Block Tango – on stage with Whitney

4:30-6:00 – Music – Everyone – Review Ensemble plus Me and My Baby, and My Own Best Friend

Wednesday, September 6 – 4:00-4:30 – Cell Block Tango and All That Jazz with Whitney

4:30 – 6:00 – Music – (All women) All I Care About is Love, My Own Best Friend, Cell Block Tango

Thursday, September 7 – 4:00 – 4:30 – Cell Block Tango and All That Jazz with Whitney

4:30 – 6:00 – Music – (All men plus any females that are supposed to be in this choreography) Roxie, When Velma Takes the Stand


Blog post about lunch rehearsal

Hey guys it’s Gwyn!

Mr.McCray and I have noticed that, recently, our lunch rehearsals are lacking the availability and structure they require to be useful to us as a cast. Mostly because they were planned on days when only a handful of us were able to go get the help we needed, which I didn’t feel like was fair to the lunch lab kids who missed out on having extra time to polish up their part in a number, or to the no-lab students who showed up only to be turned away.

This is the solution Mr.McCray and I came up with: starting next week, Wednesdays will be designated for running songs with Miss Jean and Miss Johnson in the chorus room, and Fridays are going to be spent in the Bishop Center practicing new choreography with Whitney. We will meet during 2nd AP for both days.

Attending these rehearsals is strongly recommended. These meetings are here to help the cast, as a whole, grow stronger and more confident in the musical numbers. I’m probably not the only one wishing I had a little more time to practice that one number before we moved on to the next part, so that’s exactly what lunch rehearsals are for. Not to mention, tech week always arrives sooner than expected. If we each attend at least one of these AP rehearsals a week, the longterm payoff will be huge.

This cast is an incredible group full of hardworking, talented, and dedicated students. I know for a fact that with all our efforts combined, and this little bit of extra time we’ll put into each week, Chicago will be that much better.

I love you guys!


Schedule 8/27 & small cast revisions.

> Kim — 4-630 with lead dancers, Roxy, Velma, Fred, add Jake, Sebastian, Damon and Peyton. Whitney >
> Kim — 4-6 murdreress’, whitney – cell block need 6 chairs

Review all of the blocked scenes the director has done.

Labor Day holiday is off. Certain future elements are TBA, however…. >
> September 9. 10-12
> If you are available, please let Kim know.
> Sunday, September 10 1-4
> All that jazz — full cast for staging
Chicago th Musical Final Cast-3.docx