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Roxie, Velma, Billy & Co. bring the razzle dazzle to EPHS spring musical, "Chicago"

Cast, crew and pit of 2024 spring musical, Chicago
Dave Porreca, Communications & Social Media Specialist

The moment everyone in EPHS Theatre had been working for since December finally arrived Friday night when the curtain opened for the first of three performances of this year’s spring musical, “Chicago: Teen Edition.” 

The EPHS auditorium was packed again Saturday afternoon and evening for the final two shows.

Theatergoers line up to buy tickets to the EPHS spring musical, "Chicago."

The atmosphere was festive for opening night of the 2024 EPHS spring musical!

More than 60 students were involved in the production as cast, crew or pit orchestra members. During the tech week build-up to opening night, the students stayed late after school for three evenings of dress rehearsals, followed on Thursday by morning and afternoon preview shows for Elm Middle School students.

“These kids have worked so hard,” said Noah Pligge, the show’s director and choreographer. “Having all aspects put together is magical! They have integrated a lot of themselves into these roles. In educational theater, the process of vulnerability and allowance to accept any criticism, positive or negative, teaches them more than I ever could!”

Theatergoers line up to buy tickets to the EPHS spring musical, "Chicago."

Theatergoers line up for Friday night's performance of "Chicago: Teen Edition." 

Added Kyle Rhoades, the show’s producer and pit orchestra director: “I'm always the most excited when all the components of the show finally lock together and the students start to actually feel their character roles. It's incredibly gratifying to see how far these students progress over the course of a few short months.”

Set in the 1920s Jazz Age, “Chicago” tells the story of Roxie Hart, a married woman who is charged with murdering her lover. She soon crosses paths with Velma Kelly, a vaudeville performer also charged with murder. Along the way, the two become swept up in the new culture of celebrity, sensationalism and mass media.

Beanie Martinico as Roxie Hart

In the EPHS production, Isabella “Beanie” Martinico played Roxie, and fellow sophomore Isabella Wernsing co-starred as Velma. Senior Diego Reyes played media-savvy defense attorney Billy Flynn, who represented both women. Roxie’s husband, Amos Hart, was played by senior Roy Zuniga, and junior Dana Solis made her EPHS Theatre debut as Matron “Mama” Morton. (For a complete list of cast, crew and pit, see below.)

Isabella Wernsing as Velma Kelly

“I’ve had a handful of kids since they were in middle school,” Pligge said. “Watching them thrive in this safe space is beautiful to watch. They all continue to come into their own via direction from the staff. Beanie and Bella have been in my program for so long, that they continue to teach themselves and all on how to own their role.”

In addition to Pligge and Rhoades, Mike Popplewell served as the show’s vocal director. Christian Rosenzweig was set designer and tech director. Sue Schultz designed the costumes. Maiah Sol, a 2023 EPHS graduate, assisted with the choreography.

Diego Reyes as Billy Flynn

Based on the 1926 play by former newspaper reporter Maurine Dallas Watkins, ”Chicago” debuted as a musical in 1975 with music by John Kander, lyrics by Fred Ebb, and book by Ebb and Bob Fosse. David Thompson adapted the script for “Chicago: Teen Edition.” The 2002 film version of the musical was nominated for 12 Academy Awards and won six, including Best Picture.

So why “Chicago” for this year’s spring musical?

“We needed a dance show,” said Pligge. “It was the right time for the student body. The cast, crew, and pit were the best kids to make this happen!”

Roy Zuniga as Amos Hart

“With each musical,” Rhoades noted, “staff takes several factors into account, most importantly: do we have the students (for cast, stage crew, AND pit orchestra) to perform the show successfully? And for ‘Chicago,’ we absolutely [did]!”

“We're fairly unique,” Rhoades continued, “in that we don't generally cut students from our program (cast, crew, or pit). To see a student who was a meek freshman in the back of the ensemble move their way up to eventually portraying a lead role with multiple lines or songs is a testament to their effort and commitment!” 


Velma Kelly: Isabella Wernsing
Roxie Hart: Beanie Martinico
Fred Casely: Michael Rominski
Sergeant Fogarty: Andrew Ticao
Amos Hart: Roy Zuniga
Liz: Charlie Butler
Annie: Olivia Shipinski
June: Emma Ansari
Hunyak: Hailey Rivera
Mona: Kimberly Herrera
Matron “Mama” Morton: Dana Solis
Billy Flynn: Diego Reyes
Mary Sunshine: Lorelei Wittrock
Reporter: Izabella Weiss
Kitty: Divina Zamudio
Harry: Eric Cardona
Judge: Julian Solis
Clerk: Xiomara Nieto
Juror One: Izabella Weiss

Ensemble: Emma Ansari, Charlie Butler, Eric Cardona, Kylie Cardona, Arianna Escarpita, Kimberly Herrera, Dolly Jendruczek, Jeffrey Jesuit, Nayeli Miranda, Izabella Molina, Isabella Molinelli, Julian Muñoz, Xiomara Nieto, Aubrey Perez, Zoe Rice, Hailey Rivera, Jeanel Robles, Michael Rominski, Olivia Shipinski, Julian Solis, Andrew Ticao, Izabella Weiss, Lorelei Wittrock, Divina Zamudio

Dance Captain/Assistant Director: Olivia Shipinski 

Assistant Producer: Michael Rominski 

Build Crew: Joaquin Aguilar, Jamie Boch, Lizbeth Casas, Kathleen Castillo, Elisabetta Cruz, Gizelle Curtis, Jazmin Flores, Ella Frazee, Angelia Freidin, Trace Furman, Kailani Gonzalez, Robert Konrath, Skylen Lopez, Jaylani Maldonado, Kassandra Maldonado, Lexi Mullins, Julian Muñoz, Amelia Muñoz, Olivia Padilla, Isabella Rivera, Colton Roach, Sophia Rodriguez, Gabriella Rodriguez, Maja Sawicki-Osysko, Alexander Sevilla, Eric Velasquez, Liam Walter

Run Crew: Kathleen Castillo, Elisabetta Cruz, Ella Frazee, Angelia Freiden, Robert Konrath, Jaylani Maldonado, Kassandra Maldonado, Lexi Mullins, Gabriella Rodriguez, Liam Walter

Lights: Kailani Gonzalez, Skylen Lopez, Isabella Rivera

Sound: Olivia Padilla, Colton Roach, Sophia Rodriguez

Stage Manager: Jamie Boch

Assistant Stage Manager: Joaquin Aguilar

Pit Orchestra: Francisco Aguilar, Sam Castellano, Jacob Daza, Gabe Escarpita, Natalia Galinska, Ava Hoveke, Sean Johnson, Ethan Kendrick, Daniel Kupinski, Alessandra López, Kaylee Mercado, Aleks Mitrovic, Samantha Tripoli-Carpino, Karolina Wojdyla, Donald Yu, Anthony Zenner

Director/Choreographer: Noah Pligge

Vocal Director: Mike Popplewell

Producer/Pit Director: Kyle Rhoades

Set Designer/Tech Director: Christian Rosenzweig

Costume Designer: Sue Schultz

Assistant Choreographer: Maiah Sol

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