Hunting Hills High School is set to bring Chicago to Red Deer later this month. Performances run March 29 - April 2 at Festival Hall with most shows including light fare and refreshments.
More than 80 students from Grades 9-12 are involved in the production, which is based on a 1926 play. This includes actors, dancers, production crew, and pit band musicians. Auditions for the production took place last fall, and shortly after, students began rehearsals and have been working hard ever since.
“We really wanted to do a period piece for this production and offer students a different era and style, which really plays to the strengths of our students,” said Piper Rempel, Director. “It’s a heavy dance show – there’s lots of glitz and glamour, yet it is complex and has depth and grittier themes. Lots of people think that Chicago is risque, but our show isn’t risque in the usual sense. It’s risque in that we are pulling themes of media manipulation, and women struggling for power. We go to the root of the story - the desire for fame and selfishness.” The show is appropriate for ages 12 and up.
Taryn Martinek, Choreographer, added students have flourished as rehearsals have evolved. “They have really clicked and to see them helping each other and bringing each other up to a new level, that is what I love about this time of year,” she said. “This crew is a lot younger than in other years, and we have some great up and coming Grade 9s, but also lots of returning cast from last year. It’s a really inspiring group of kids, and it’s been so much fun. There is mutual admiration and inspiration.”
“To see the growth in students throughout this year has been incredible,” Rempel added. “One of the pillars of our Fine Arts program at Hunting Hills is to take risks and to learn to trust yourself. At the beginning of the year, for some, it was too much of a risk to talk to a new person. But to see where the students are now is amazing.”
As for the show, Martinek said she encourages students, family and friends as well as the general community to take it in.
“I don’t think people realize the talent that our kids have and how high caliber a high school musical can be,” she said. “Come celebrate young talent and have fun with us!”
Tickets can be purchased through the Hunting Hills Bookstore in person, online here or by calling 403-342-6655. Limited tickets are available at the door for $25.