Experience all that jazz with TOSAC's rendition of Chicago

Apr. 26—THOMASVILLE — Theatergoers will get the "ole razzle dazzle" on May 3 as Thomasville On Stage and Company presents Broadway's longest-running musical, "Chicago."

Directed by Bill Bass Jr., "Chicago" follows the story of Roxie Hart (Tasina Martinez), a wannabe vaudevillian star who murders her lover and is arrested, despite her attempts to convince her pushover husband, Amos (Carson Chapman), to lie for her.

While at the Cook County Jail, Roxie meets her hero, the famed double-murderess and nightclub performer Velma Kelly (JW Watson). When the two women both acquire the same lawyer, the greedy and lustful superstar, Billy Flynn (Peyton Hodges), tensions come to a head as they vie for the spotlight of every newspaper reporter during the trial of the century.

With such an acclaimed history, Bass Jr. admitted the production has been no easy feat.

"One thing about us is we love a good challenge," he said. "We never want to say we can't do a show because we are a small company or because we don't have the technical equipment and machinery. We adjust and do the best we can."

Traditionally, "Chicago" has an ensemble of 19 players, all of whom dance throughout the production. However, Bass Jr. has crafted a cast of 13 players with in-house choreography.

"The choreography has been a challenge," Bass Jr. said. "We had a choreographer, but their schedule became too busy, so we decided to do everything ourselves."

Watson and Bass Jr.'s daughter, Ava, both have formal dance training and have since taken over the reins to create a memorable dance sequence for both the audience and cast.

"Everything you'll see was done by a high school-age student or someone just out of school," he said. "They all put this together. It's been a mouthful, and I'm very proud of their effort."

Throughout rehearsals, Bass Jr. has grown to love several scenes where he sees the cast come together. However, he is most excited for the public to see the penultimate courtroom scene.

"The culmination scene is the trial and I think people will really enjoy that because it's fast-paced and a lot is happening at one time," he said. "But, the overture, which opens the show, is really fun all on its own. Our ensemble is on stage for about 10 minutes straight. I'm excited for people to see that."

Bass Jr. does remind everyone that while the cast has added their own flair when they can, the story is still equally as salacious as it was on Broadway and may not be suitable for children.

"We've done just as much of the salacious to give people the same feel as the Broadway show, but we aren't after that," Bass Jr. said. "We are more focused on the artistic side."

Helping make this musical saucy and artistic are Assistant Director Kimsey Hodge, Technical Assistant Director Cherokee Godwin, Music Director and Sound Operator Dr. Erikka Edwards, Producer Pat Orr, and cast members, Cameron Parker, Ransom Young, Joshua Martinez, Randi Such, Mern Young, Jasmyn Barber, Ava Bass, Trinity Griffin, and Michael Henderson.

Tickets can be purchased online or at TOSAC's Storefront Theater. The production will run for two weekends, beginning on May 3 with a 7 p.m. evening show and concluding with a matinee on May 12.