THE curtain goes up tonight (Wednesday) on Kelty Musical Association's 2019 show Chicago.

The ticket sales for the Carnegie Hall based production have been very good and this story set in a jail, will play to several packed houses this week.

Our reporter went in on Monday night to see how rehearsals were developing. Based on a 1926 play by Chicago Tribune reporter Maurine Dallas Watkins, Chicago tells the story of Roxie Hart, (Amy Elder) a chorus girl who murders her unfaithful husband, then manages not only to avoid prison with the help of razzle-dazzle lawyer Billy Flynn (Mark Grieve), but uses the trial to propel herself to showbiz stardom along with another murderous chorus girl, Velma Kelly (Vicky Sharp).

A dark parable of American justice, Chicago is a sexy musical extravaganza that includes several showstopping numbers such as “All That Jazz,” “Razzle Dazzle” and “Class.”

The story revolves around the two leading ladies. Roxie is a really testing role and Amy Elder is a very talented young lady. She sings superbly and acts with total confidence and is no mean dancer.

Velma, superbly portrayed by Vicky Sharp, is more than a little upset at the way Roxie is stealing her thunder. The duo play off each other superbly.

Billy Flynn is someone who shows tremendous resolve in ensuring he uses all aspects of his legal knowledge to keep Roxie out of jail. Mark Grieve, in this role, is excellent and his beautiful voice is a winner while he looks every inch the thinking legal man also keen on a fast buck!

Darren Johnson has a fabulous voice and and his acting talents grow each year, and in the role of Amos Hart he shows all his stage poise as the almost forgotten husband of Roxie, and the song Mr Cellophane, really says it all of his lot!

Mama Morton, the lady who ensures that the girls in Cook County Jail are given every chance to benefit from outside help, is beautifully played by Rebecca Anderson, while leading the press pack is Mary Sunshine. Brilliantly played by Derek Walker, who has a really superb voice though he too often plays down his talents, this is a newspaper person who can really tug the heart strings with stories.

Fred Casely is the person who is quickly taken out by the gun wielding Roxie and Fraser McLoughlin thoroughly enjoys a role which regularly sees him coming back into the story despite being dead!

No matter how good the leads are a show without a good chorus is lost but KMA have no worries here. The strong singing and brilliant dancing ensures just the perfect back-up for quality leading artistes and with superb orchestral back-up, the show is a clear winner.

The production team of director Gary Gibb; choreographer Lynne Gibb and musical director, Ross Hamilton, can be proud of the efforts and quality of their cast.

Who’s Who In Chicago

Rebecca Anderson - Matron Mama Morton; Amy Elder - Roxie Hart. Vicky Sharp - Velma Kelly; Mark Grieve - Billy Flynn; Darren Johnson - Amos Hart; Fraser McLoughlin - Fred Casely; Derek Walker - Mary Sunshine; Yvonne Musgrave - Gaynor Murphy; Adam Shaw - Harry Callaghan; Lynne Donaldson - Helen Brawley; Ainslie Anderson- Ava Lancaster; Ciaran Young - Danny Danielson; Brodie Drummond - Shawn Stevens; Jamie Faulds - Dick Walters.

Murray Pope - Sergeant Fogarty; Amy Boyd - Go To Hell Kitty; Giulia Caira - Bea Guibirelli; Claire Roberson - Sapphire St James; Stacey Muirhead - Izzy Brown; Iona Jordan - Lola King; Lisa Marie Allan - Bonnie del Ray; Charlie Stewart - CJ; Hollie Wegner-Jaszkin - Suzie Q; Guy Bathgate - Tony Daniels; Carly Manderson - Jessie Blakely; Gayle Crombie Miller - Veronica Valli; Merry murderesses, Suzanne Anderson - Mona DeAngelo; Nicki Ford - June Schultz; Nicki Ford - June Schultz; Mia Oudeh - Katalin Helinszki; Victoria Bowler - Liz Brown; Pauline McGeevor - Annie Young; Jade Scullion - Daynor Murphy; Diane Beltran - Dolores Dallemange; Laura Sinclair - Scarlet; Ruby Monroe - Betsy Rose; Luis Mutch - Dino Dupont; Emma Hynd -Ruthie Reese; Danielle Smith - Mimi Watkins; Laura Jane Smith - Lexie Stone; Amii Stewart - Mimi LeFranc; Tasha Scotland - Alice Aberard; Josh Robinson-Johnny Dorian; Lisa Brannen-Cara Weissman; Ross Jack-Harry Jackson.

Musical director - Ross Hamilton. Reed 1 - David Morrow. Reed 2 - Susannah Hallas, Reed 3 - Patsy Thomas. Trumpet 1 - Jim Chamberlain. Trumpet 2 - Alistair Nealy. Trombone 1 - Andrew Blair Trombone; 2 - Jordan Robertson. Tuba/bass - Paul Castledine Percussion - Cal Gardner. Banjo - David Thompson. Keys 1 - Simon Hanson. Keys 2 - Douglas Anderson. Violin - Hilary Turbayne

Behind the scenes, Stage manager - Kellie Mackinlay. Stage Crew - Roy Melvin, John Oswald. Sound & Lighting - Blue Parrot. Production Programme design - Gary Gibb. Box office - Joyce Clark. Carly Barr- Carnegie Hall. Colin Baird. Mark Grieve Photography. Utopia Costumes Additional costumes/wardrobe - Kerry Black. Front of house John Grieve, Dave McNair, Steven Smyth, Laura McNair, Matt Izatt/Lesley Izatt, St. Ninians Church Kirsty Dodds. David Wardle Photography. Bob Mitchell.