Santa Fe Stages in New Mexico will stage Maurine Watkins' Chicago, the 1926 play on which the musical of the same name is based, as the final production of its upcoming summer season. The play is scheduled to be performed July 16-31.
Watkins' Chicago, directed by George Abbott, was a hit during the 1926-27 Broadway season with a cast that included Francine Larrimore as Roxie Hart, Juliette Crosby as Velma, Edward Willis as Billy Flynn and Charles Halton as Amos Hart. The supporting players included a young Dorothy Stickney as Liz.
"This is a great jazz age comedy, the forerunner of The Front Page and all the other newspaper comedies," said Santa Fe Stages artistic director Martin Platt, who is directing the play. "It introduces some great characters to the stage, all based on Watkins' career as a journalist at the Chicago Tribune in the 1920s. For those who know the musical, there are many old friends and many great surprises."
Chicago inspired two films, a 1927 silent produced by Cecil B. De Mille and the 1942 William Wellman/Nunnally Johnson version, Roxie Hart, starring Ginger Rogers, Adolphe Menjou (as Billy Flynn) and Phil Silvers.
The production team includes Russell Parkman (scenery), Holly Poe Durbin (costumes) and Peter Maradudin (lights). Performances are at the Greer Garson Theatre in Santa Fe. For more information, call (505) 982-6683.
-- By Rebecca Paller